HIGH LIFE: Dubbo Roos line-out specialist James Skuthorp in the air against Andrew Hubbard last game.Dubbo Kangaroos coach Geoff Koerstz and his forwards have worked hard this week to obtain better ball security from the line-outs and scrums in the quest to overcome Narromine Gorillas at No.1 Oval On Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The Blowes Menswear Cup round 13 match-up is important for both clubs – the Roos to keep their place in fifth position on the ladder, and the Gorillas to remain in touch with Bathurst Bulldogs, aiming for the minor premiership.

Koerstz was delighted with the 17-3 win over Forbes last week but there were obvious deficiencies in the scrum and particularly the line-out when valuable ball was lost to the opposition.

“Both those areas were addressed at length this week and we need to do it better. You can’t give opposition sides like Narromine more ball than they deserve otherwise they will put points on you,” he said.

“Our set pieces still leave a bit of work to be done and overall we have to be more professional about the way we do things.”

If there was a game that the Roos need to be tight in the forwards it’s this one and the visitors also have the backs to put on points at regular intervals – unless they ball supply can be cut off to them.

“You can’t play an expansive game against Narromine,” Koerstz said.

“You can’t run around them so you have to come at them up the middle. We have to get our hands dirty and narrow Narromine’s game in an area where we control what they do.”

To make that happen Koerstz has brought in Mark Reynen at loose head prop and Lyndon Davis as hooker while James Elliott returns to the second-row.

Reynen was ill last week for the Forbes game, while Davis comes in for James Dodd. Elliott started the season in first grade and did nothing wrong.

His young body has been given time to freshen up and he’s now ready for the next challenge against one of the most experienced forwards line-up in Central West rugby.

Despite the new blood in first grade, Koerstz admits his side is ‘walking wounded.’

“The last thing we needed was to have Mark Daley break down at training on Thursday night with his recurring groin problem,” the coach said.

“With that happening I’ve brought in Tim Mannix from the wing to outside centre where he will be more comfortable, despite having a great game on the wing against Forbes.

“Last week our other centre Todd Stewart suffered an ankle problem that isn’t right so Lars Newman will play in his place and Robbie Cleaver comes onto the wing. Robbie’s still not 100 per cent right with a knee but he’s told me he is right to play.”

Despite the interruptions and team changes, Koerstz said the mood was all positive and he was looking forward to a good contest against the Gorillas.

The clubs will field teams in all four grades at No.1 Oval.

n Dubbo Roos:

1 Mark Reynen, 2 Lyndon Davis, 3 Tim Cullenward, 4 James Skuthorp, 5 James Elliott, 6 Tim Berry, 7 Diarmaid O’Shea, 8 Lee Toohey, 9 Johnny Rathbone, 10 Paul Elliott (c), 11 Scott Amos, 12 Lars Newman, 13 Luke Mannix, 14 Rob Cleaver, 26 Kieran Smith.

n Narromine Gorillas:

1 Ben Strachan, 2 Trent Heckendorf, 3 Tom Quigley, 4 Brad Anderson, 5 Craig Campbell, 6 Dan Maroulis, 7 Luke Brown, 8 Lochie McCutcheon, 9 Ryan Pratten, 10 Josh Laurie, 11 Doug Potter, 12 Charlie MacInnes, 13 Luke Harding, 14 Jordan Richardson, 15 Scott Burgess.

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