Seahorses wary of Axemen


HE may have only been in town a little while but already Woolgoolga captain-coach Michael Close is already well versed in the strengths of Orara Valley.

Admittedly, having the day off last week due to the bye allowed Close to study the Axemen and he admits that he's wary of tomorrow's opponent after what he saw.

"They were pretty impressive with their result against Macleay, we're going to have to shut them down and stop their ball movement out wide to their quick blokes," the Seahorses coach said.

"We're going to have to concentrate on our speed off the line and be wary of trailing back inside so we'll need to be sliding well, particularly when Matt Donovan has the ball and he's gliding across field.

"Primarily we'll be concentrating on their halves and Donovan and if we can shut them down it should cause us to win the arm wrestle."

One thing that Close is hoping for after having two weeks away from competition thanks to the bye and the Easter break is that his team will be the fitter of the two combatants tomorrow.

A hard slog along the sands of Woolgoolga was the order of the day during the break when Rob Roland-Smith came to train the team a couple of times armed with his 15 years of fitness work experience at Parramatta and Manly.

"The 'Sandhill Warrior' certainly worked us hard," Close said.

"I pulled up sorer after the training than I did after some big games that I've played.

"It definitely paid off though as recovery from the boys was a lot quicker and that's how I can tell that they're more conditioned."

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