Group 10 to Ram home simple game plan in bid for Western Division berths

GO JOE, GO: Group 10 fullback Joe Lasagavibau is hoping to run riot against Group 11 today in Dubbo.  Photo: NICK McGRATH 0509nmjoey1

GO JOE, GO: Group 10 fullback Joe Lasagavibau is hoping to run riot against Group 11 today in Dubbo. Photo: NICK McGRATH 0509nmjoey1

THERE’S no point complicating the game plan for representative teams, and ahead of his side’s annual Western Division trial with Group 11, Group 10 mentor Graeme Osborne is abundantly clear on that front.

Just ask Orange Hawks fullback Joe Lasagavibau.

“He didn’t say too much to us,” Lasagavibau said following Group 10’s final training session in Bathurst on Wednesday night. 

“He just said stick to the game plan ... do what we do best.”

A dynamic runner of the ball, Lasagavibau’s best will be deadly if Group 10’s huge forward pack asserts its dominance over its much smaller rivals on Saturday, freeing up the likes of the Hawks custodian and CYMS livewires Ben McAlpine and Tim Bassmann.

Bathurst St Pat’s halfback Garry Reilly is also in strong form with the ball heading into the senior representative cluster.

Succinct and to the point, Osborne’s no frills philosophy netted Group 10 a commanding 30-14 victory over Group 11 in the corresponding game last season, the 16-point win landing Osborne’s side 12 of the 18 places in last year’s Rams squad.

And hoping to replicate last year’s performance, Lasagavibau’s aim today is to lead from the back as Group 10 look to make it back-to-back wins over their Western Division rivals.

“My expectations are it’ll be tough. It’s the best players from both groups playing for Western Rams spots,” he said.

“I’m hoping I’ll be one of those players.”

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The Fijian flyer helped Hawks to last year’s Group 10 grand final from fullback, but has started 2014 at five-eighth for the two blues.

He welcomed a return to the back on Saturday.

“My form this year, it’s tough to say. I’m playing fullback (today) but I’ve played five-eighth all this year. I’m happy to be back playing fullback though,” he added.

There are a couple of changes to the Group 10 squad, with CYMS back Dan Stuart ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Mudgee three-quarter Tom Lewsley moves into the starting line-up with Corin Smith (Mudgee) and Kyran Bubb (CYMS) added to the bench.

Saturday's game kicks off at 3.10pm.

GROUP 10: 1 Joey Lasagavibau (Orange Hawks), 2 Tim Bassmann (Orange CYMS), 3 Josh Rainbow (Blayney Bears), 4 Tom Lewsley (Mudgee Dragons), 5 Alofi Mataele (Orange Hawks), 6 Ben McAlpine (Orange CYMS), 7 Garry Reilly (St Pat’s), 8 Brent Seager (Bathurst Panthers), 9 Luke Carpenter (Bathurst Panthers), 10 Ron Lawrence (Cowra Magpies), 11 Luke Newcombe (St Pat’s), 12 Jack Affamasaga (Mudgee Dragons), 13 Wade Judd (Oberon Tigers); Bench: 14 Benjamin John (St Pat’s), 15 Arty Shead (Orange Hawks), 16 Pale Ale (St Pat’s), 17 Corin Smith (Mudgee Dragons), 18 Kyran Bubb (Orange CYMS).

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