Lions gunning for second win as Roos channel NWA in bid to keep finals dream alive

PLUGGING AWAY: Tom Nell and his Lions host a Dubbo Kangaroos side looking for more fluency with ball in hand this weekend. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
PLUGGING AWAY: Tom Nell and his Lions host a Dubbo Kangaroos side looking for more fluency with ball in hand this weekend. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

“Express yourself, come on and do it.”

When you think of those lyrics from groundbreaking rap group NWA, rugby union isn’t the first thing which comes to mind.

That’s what Orange City will face at Pride Park this weekend though, as the Dubbo Kangaroos try to be more fluent in attack in a bid to keep their Blowes Clothing Cup dream alive.

The tightness of the competition was on show last weekend as the Roos dropped from third to fifth and outside the finals following a loss at Cowra.

With Cowra and Forbes, in third and fourth respectively, taking on the top two sides in the competition and the last-placed Lions hosting Roos this weekend, the Dubbo side has a golden chance to move back into the finals frame.

Dubbo’s director of coaching Beau Robinson hopes some variety in attack helps his side achieve that, and stops the Lions picking up their second win of the season in the process.

“We’re just bringing in some new shapes and educating the boys about different options,” Robinson said, describing the attack in recent weeks as “a bit blunt and predictable”.

“I think maybe they feel like they’re not able to play outside the structure but the structure is just that, structure, and there are options available.

“They’ve been made aware of that and they just need to back themselves, too, because there’s plenty of firepower.”

Tim Beach, who suffered a concussion last week, and Matt Saul will both be missing from the backline this weekend and that lack of consistency and “cohesion”, as Robinson calls it, is part of the reason the Roos have failed to produce their best week in, week out.

Despite that, the mood in the camp is positive before the trip to the Pride Park on Saturday.

“It’s frustrating about a lot of little things not coming off and we’re fifth but we’re only one game off third so who knows what can happen,” Robinson said.

“It’s very upbeat. No one is kicking cans and the main thing for us is getting in the finals and being there come August because anything can happen.

“That’s all we’re focused on.”

Roos are all too aware the Orange side can’t be taken lightly.

The Lions’ one win for the season came earlier in the year when a stunning second half comeback saw them down a stunned Kangaroos side.

“They’ll come out all guns blazing, we’re fully aware of that,” Robinson said.

“We’ve just got to focus on our own game. We did that last time and did it really well for 45 minutes and then we went away from it.”

It was a 32-27 win for City that day while the last meeting between the two sides resulted in a comfortable 59-7 win for the Dubbo side at No. 1 Oval.

Play starts at 3.15pm at Pride Park on Saturday.