ORANGE Hawks hooker Mitch Hurford says his team’s win-less start to the 2014 Group 10 premier league season is not as bad as it looks.
Hawks have lost three of the opening five rounds, with their only points coming from a 26-all draw with Blayney last weekend, and a bye.
At this point in 2013, Hawks were undefeated.
“We aren’t too far away from the mark,” Hurford said.
“We aren’t getting thrashed, our last two losses have been by four points combined. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
The two blues take on Mudgee on Sunday at Wade Park, and despite knowing his team is in for a tough afternoon, Hurford said it would take a brave man to write Hawks off.
“Mudgee are always tough, for sure” Hurford said.
“They have some big boys in the forwards, and they’ve started this year really well. But as I said, we’re not too far away.
“We’ve played some good footy and some bad footy. Injuries have played a role, we haven’t had the same team on the paddock two weeks in a row. I think defence, and our structure are two things we’ll focus on pretty heavily [tomorrow].”
Hurford played premier league in 2011, and 2012, before having last season off to travel the world. He said his return has been tougher than expected.
“I’m only just getting back to full fitness,” he said.
“Coming back has been tough, it’s good though. From here, I just want to help the team by taking good options, and hopefully creating opportunities. I haven’t been the best defensively, which is something I’ll be looking to work on as well.”
Two blues skipper Tim Mortimer said Sunday's’s clash with the undefeated Dragons is crucial to his team’s finals hopes.
“Win or lose [tomorrow], it’s back to the drawing board,” Mortimer said.
“We need to concentrate on the basics. We need to make sure we create, or do something we can build on in the next few rounds.”
The clash kicks off at 2.30pm.
ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Joe Lasagavibau, 2 Justin Howarth, 3 Alofi Mataele, 4 Jared Brodrick, 5 Steve Khatter, 6 Tim Mortimer (c), 7 Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill, 8 Arty Shead, 9 Mitch Hurford, 10 Chris Anau, 11 Kurt McNamara, 12 Pat Veikoso, 13 Travis Bubb.