PLAY like Queensland, and the Western Rams will win.
Rams, and Orange CYMS, fullback Tim Bassmann said his side needs to embrace simplicity in Saturday’s Country Rugby League Regional Tier 2 Championship opener, much the same way Queensland does in State of Origin.
“At this level it is all about completion footy,” he said.
“Look at what the Maroons have done to [NSW], they play simple. We (Western) have a big forward pack, so I think the game plan will be to roll through the middle and let our back line loose when we can, but we have to make sure we get to our kicks as often as possible.”
Western takes on 2013 semi-finalists Greater Northern Tigers, and after being soundly beaten by Central Coast in their only game last year, Bassmann said the Rams are looking to redeem themselves.
“I know absolutely nothing about Greater Northern,” Bassmann said.
“We have to assume they’ll be quality though, and look to get a win first up.”
The 25-year-old will earn his second Rams jumper on Saturday, after first representing Western Division in 2009.
“I only lasted a couple of minutes before I did my knee in that game though,” he said, ruefully.
“Hopefully this time works out a bit better.”
Bassmann will play in his preferred position of fullback for the Rams, despite being relegated to the wing for Group 10 in its selection trial against Group 11 three weeks ago.
“I did reasonably well in the Group game,” Bassmann said.
“But this selection came as a real shock, I thought Joey (Lasagavibau, Orange Hawks and Group 10 fullback) would have got the jersey for sure.
“It’s great to get another chance at this level, I thought my representative footy was over when I hurt my thumb.”
Bassmann dislocated his thumb in the pre-season Bathurst Knockout, and missed a month of football as a result.
“I’m just about back to my best I think,” he said.
“I struggled early with match fitness but I’ve got a few games under my belt now.”
Bassmann is one of three Orange players in the Rams squad, with fellow Orange CYMS star Ben McAlpine will lining up at centre, while Hawks’ Alofi Mataele will play on the wing.
The 18-man Western squad heads to the Hunter Valley, and into camp tomorrow night before Saturday’s clash at Singleton’s Resco Park, kicking off at 12.45pm.
WESTERN RAMS: 1 Tim Bassmann (Orange CYMS), 2 Alofi Mataele (Orange Hawks), 3 Tom Lewsley (Mudgee Dragons), 4 Ben McAlpine (Orange CYMS), 5 Chris Daley (Dubbo Macquarie), 6 Jacob Neill (Nyngan Tigers), 7 Denis Moran (Parkes Spacemen - captain-coach), 8 Ron Lawrence (Cowra Magpies), 9 Jeremy Smith (Dubbo Macquarie), 10 Brent Seager (Bathurst Panthers), 11 Justin Toomey-White (Wellington Cowboys), 12 Troy Hayman (Cobar Roosters), 13 Jack Afamasaga (Mudgee Dragons), 14 Benjamin John (Bathurst St Pat’s), Wade Judd (Oberon Tigers), Luke Newcombe (Bathurst St Pat’s), Josh Rainbow (Blayney Bears), Jyie Chapman (Dubbo CYMS).