'We're desperate': Mortimer lays cards on table for injury-ravaged Hawks

UNCHARTED TERRITORY: Orange Hawks' backrower Kyle Byrnes is playing in the unfamiliar positon of prop as a result of multiple injuries. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0413hawks15

UNCHARTED TERRITORY: Orange Hawks' backrower Kyle Byrnes is playing in the unfamiliar positon of prop as a result of multiple injuries. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0413hawks15

SITTING in eighth on the Group 10 premier league table, winless and injury-ravaged, Orange Hawks captain-coach Tim Mortimer was blunt leading into Saturday's round-seven clash with Lithgow Workies.

“We’re desperate,” he said.

“We want, and need our first win. Even if we are getting better every game we still need to take another step up. Unfortunately that is difficult with injuries killing us, but that’s rugby league.”

Hawks travel to Lithgow on Saturday minus four pivotal players.

Former NSW Country seconds representative Todd Barrow, Group 10 wrecking-ball Arty Shead, star centre Brock McGarity and chief playmaker Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill are all sidelined due to injury.

“It’s pretty tough at the moment,” Mortimer said.

“We’re struggling to field a team that has actually trained together. We’re just trying to persevere really.”

There is a silver lining though, despite Hawks horror start to the 2014 season, they remain just one point out of the top five. Bathurst Panthers sit in fifth place, on four points.

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Workies sit sixth, also on four points having secured their first win last weekend in a come-from-behind victory over Blayney.

“It’s a good chance to get a win,” he said.

“I think Lithgow will be thinking the same thing though. It’ll be tough, but I’m confident.

With a rookie playmaker, and shattered confidence, Mortimer said his troops will embrace simplicity on Saturday.

“We don’t have the size to just bash them, so we need to be smart about what we do. 

“Take good options and get to our kicks. We’ll really look to build on our first half performance from last weekend.”

Hawks and Lithgow kick off at Tony Luchetti Sportsground at 4.30pm.

ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Joe Lasagavibau, 2 Justin Howarth, 3 Alofi Mataele, 4 Jared Brodrick, 5 Steve Khatter, 6 Tim Mortimer (c), 7 Keegan Harding, 8 Chris Anau, 9 Mitchl Hurford, 10 Kyle Byrnes, 11 Kurt McNamara, 12 Pat Veikoso, 13 Travis Bubb.

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