Wattles chase first A-grade win for the season
RUGBY LEAGUE: After a week of going back to the drawing board, Wattles Warriors coach Travis Burns is confident his Railway Hotel, Allora, A-grade side can post its first premiership win of 2019 at Platz Oval on Saturday against the Highfields Eagles.
After pre-season Barrett Shield success against Warwick, the Warriors were edged out 22-18 last week against the Cowboys in an physical match at Father Ranger Oval.
Warwick dominated much of the match to win the Basil Nolan Jnr Memorial Shield, the Warriors caught off guard in the initial 40 minutes trailing 18-0 at the break, before a more encouraging second stanza.
The Highfields Eagles boast youth, ability and speed and will certainly have Wattles players working hard to nail their first premiership points of the season.
Burns has had a nervous week with key utility player Nathan Gaulton facing a judiciary hearing after his involvement in a melee last week against Warwick.
Exonerated, Gaulton will run on as fullback on Saturday against the Eagles and is a vital cog in Burns' match plan.
Wattles halves Burns and Matt Duggan must step up to the plate and create opportunities for their talented backs.
Prolific try-scoring winger Blake Lollback has been sidelined for possibly three weeks with a hamstring tear, with veteran finisher and Wattles premiership winger Robbie Moore under consideration for the No2 jersey.
Burns considers as a strength the size and mobility of his forward pack, with the likes of co-skipper Dale Perkins, Mitchell Duff, Michael Pearson and Dylan Wilson expected to take the side forward.
A win is vital for Wattles to start momentum this season.
Saturday's clashes will be the first of the season for Highfields, which had a bye last week.
Kick-off: A grade 6.30pm, reserve grade 5pm and under-18 3.30pm.