ORANGE CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan still hopes his side can turn around what has been an apathetic Group 10 campaign to-date and defend its 2013 title.
Nursing a significant premiership hangover after a stellar run to last year’s grand final victory over Hawks, CYMS have stuttered their way to fifth on this year’s ladder after 14 rounds and on Sunday make the tough trip to Lithgow to face Workies at Tony Luchetti Sportsground.
Looking to take a significant step towards solidifying a position in the Group 10 top five, CYMS and Sullivan are hoping to turn in an improved performance in Lithgow following a last-start 18-10 loss to Bathurst Panthers.
And with games against Mudgee, Cowra and Bathurst St Pat’s to complete the regular season, simply, CYMS need to.
“Lithgow’s always looking to beat CYMS no matter where they sit on the ladder,” Sullivan said, with a red-hot Panthers just two wins off CYMS in the race for fifth spot.
“It’s a must-win game for us. I don’t see us missing the finals, but if we still hope to finish in the top three we need to begin to build momentum. I haven’t given up hope.”
Sullivan believes injury woes have cruelled the defending premiers this season.
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Admitting every side goes through its share of injuries, Sullivan added there was, however, no end in sight for CYMS as the green and golds make the trip to Lithgow without both Dan Stuart and Brent Colley, arguably two of the club’s best throughout the 2014 season so far.
A troublesome hamstring the issue, Stuart is being rested for a couple of weeks while Colley is still a week away from a return from injury.
Both can’t come back quick enough.
A month out from this year’s finals, Sullivan said with this year’s competition shaping up as one of the closest he’s seen - just four points separates first, Mudgee, and fifth, CYMS - anyone can win it.
“Mudgee started the year in top form but they’re probably not there any more. I’d like to think we’ll get there, it might only take two weeks for things to click,” he said.
“It was all doom and gloom for us when we lost four in a row, but we can turn it around.”
CYMS tackle Workies from 2pm on Sunday in Lithgow.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Jarrod Robbins, 2 Zac Rue, 3 Tim Bassmann, 4 Ali Beale, 5 Semisi Katoa, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Mick Sullivan, 8 Des Knight, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Ryan Prevett, 11 Riley Law, 12 Matt Penny, 13 Ben Gosper; 14 Kyran Bubb, 15 Zac Bohan.