Decade-long hoodoo in Bears sights
TOOWOOMBA Bears will be out to break a decade-long hoodoo when they travel to Roma today looking for some further early-season winning Risdon Cup form.
It is 10 years since Bears have taken the Risdon Cup points against Roma on their home track, but coach Hamish Procter hopes that unwanted statistic can be buried this afternoon when his “new look” line-up tackles the Echidnas.
Bears have made a solid start to their premiership defence with three wins following a first-round thumping from unbeaten USQ.
Roma has also notched three wins with its only loss – also at the hands of USQ, 61-0.
Bears had only four players from last year's winning grand final team – Ryan Baddock, Andrew Roseby, Matt Warner and Brad Neil – on the field during their 34-7 win last week over Condamine.
But Procter is confident the revamped side is gradually taking shape.
“It's shaping up as a typical Bears' season,” Procter said.
“But I'm really happy with where we are at, at the moment.
“I thought our effort last weekend against Condamine had some positive signs.
“We just need to keep working at cutting down on errors.”
Procter said former Moree-based halfback James Strang is settling comfortably into the team while Lachie Jensen has assumed a new role at fullback.
“Our forward depth is pretty impressive while it's a bit thinner in the backs,” Procter said.
“But we've picked up a few younger blokes like James, who has been a standout for us, and we are gradually putting it together.
“We are keen to get the 10-year monkey off our back at Roma tomorrow.
“But this is virtually a new team, not carrying a lot of past baggage, so I'm confident we can do it.”
IN TODAY'S other matches, Condamine faces an important battle when it hosts Goondiwindi.
The Cods are anchored on one win while the Emus are sitting at 2-2.
Dalby travels to St George where coach Michael Gall will be keen to see the Wheatmen rebound from last week's 57-0 shellacking at USQ.
USQ travels to Warwick while Rangers will also be desperate for its third season win when it meets UQ/Highfields at Gatton.