ADDING intrigue to a big month of Group 10 football, Orange CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan will on Sunday make his return from a knee reconstruction in the green and golds’ first division match with the Cowra Magpies.
Back training with the club after an off-season spent in rehabilitation, Sullivan’s confidence in his re-built left knee has reached the point where he’s set on playing a small role off the bench in CYMS’ lower grade clash with the Magpies.
But the three-time premiership winner stressed Sunday’s comeback wasn’t timed to coincide with CYMS’ back-to-back blockbusters with Bathurst St Pat’s and rejuvenated Mudgee Dragons, both sides undefeated heading into their own head-to-head clash tomorrow in Bathurst.
“The knee is coming a long well ... it’s baby steps at the moment,” Sullivan said, his side scheduled to travel to Mudgee then host St Pat’s in the fortnight after tomorrow’s clash with Cowra.
“I’m still a long way off first grade. I’m just trying to get some confidence back in the knee.”
CYMS will be without barnstorming winger Semisi Katoa, while Sullivan is resting centre Dan Stuart for another week after the dynamic ball-runner’s troublesome hamstring pulled up sore following a three-try effort in Oberon.
Nursing a broken nose, Scott Piper is also another absentee from the CYMS three-quarter line.
A sign of the depth at the club, Luke Coleman returns alongside Wayne Collett to fill the backline holes while Riley Law will shift from the backrow to the centres.
Wary of a Cowra side sitting fourth but six competition points away from third, Sullivan was predicting a tough contest.
“Any side with Tim Holman in it is always going to be dangerous,” Sullivan said, Cowra losing 22-18 to St Pat’s last weekend.
“From us, I’d like a bit of continuity in attack. Our defence hasn’t been too bad but we do let in a soft try every now and again. If it comes after we’ve pushed them wide then I’m not too concerned, but when it comes through the middle that’s disappointing.
“That’s something we can’t afford against Cowra.”
CYMS host Cowra from 2.15pm on Sunday.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Jarrod Robbins, 3 Luke Coleman, 4 Riley Law, 5 Wayne Collett, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Tom Stonestreet, 8 Des Knights, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Zac Bohan, 11 Pat Galea, 12 Brent Colley, 13 Ben Gosper; Bench: 14 Matt Egan 15 Cameron Jones.