Woopi?s acid test
STORIES BY MITCHELL DALE
HIGH-FLYING Woolgoolga Seahorses are set to find out just how well they are travelling tomorrow when they meet Orara Valley at Coramba Sports Ground.
Woolgoolga captain-coach John Cross admits his side, unbeaten from three trials and round one of the competition, will face their first major test of the season against the classy Axemen.
"We have trained really well this week and are quietly confident, but we all realise this will be the first big test of the year," Cross said.
"We didn't train well last week and that reflected on our game, so hopefully we will carry our good work at training onto the field this weekend."
Cross also said his side will need to improve their error count if they are to match it with the Axemen, who boost possibly the slickest backline in the competition.
"We definitely need to improve on last week," Cross said.
Orara Valley veteran Matt Donovan says his side knows they will face a much bigger challenge than last weekend's 72-0 walkover against Macleay Valley.
"We expect it to be a lot different this week," Donovan says.
"Having a game like that (against Macleay Valley) wasn't much preparation for what should be a tough match on Sunday."
Donovan said the Axemen will be looking for a similar defensive effort to the one which shut-out the Mustangs in round one.
"Our defence was very strong around the middle of the ruck last weekend and it will need to be the same against Woolgoolga," he said.
"They will be relying on their size to make in-roads around the middle , but I think we can accommodate them with our forwards."
Gimbisi Valley v Coffs Harbour
COMETS skipper Dave Morgan has conceded his side needs to improve their ball control when they face the enigmatic Warriors in Kempsey tomorrow.
Morgan said far too much ball hit the ground in last weekend's loss to Port Macquarie.
"If we dropped that much ball against better quality opposition like Sawtell or Macksville, we would have been punished," Morgan said.
"We have to do the simple things right this weekend."
Morgan expects his side to improve as they learn to play together.
"The scary thing is that our first training session as a real team was last Saturday," Morgan said.
"Before that we hadn't been able to field a full-strength side in the trials or even at training.
"But we've had good numbers this week, so hopefully that will lead to a bit more cohesion."
Morgan knows the trip to Kempsey won't be easy, despite the Warriors' 92-point shellacking from Sawtell last weekend.
"The Warriors are very unpredictable and could come up with anything after their flogging last weekend," he said.
Fullback Keeden Williams and winger Matt Secomb will make their first-grade debuts for the Comets.