Group 20 rugby league
YENDA will regain star forward Kodie Charles for tomorrow night's crunch clash with the Black and Whites as the Blueheelers look to put their "embarrassing" opening round defeat behind them.
Charles' return from a broken ankle suffered in pre-season will provide Yenda with some much-needed on-field leadership - a quality that was sorely lacking in the 30-10 upset loss to Darlington Point-Coleambally two weeks ago.
Coach Roy Romeo isn't expecting miracles from the experienced second-rower given his lack of match fitness, but said simply having him on the field will give the Blueheelers a significant boost.
"It'll be good to have him back," he said.
"He's just an influentual leader. He leads from the front and he lifts up everyone around him."
Charles is one of three key ins for Yenda along with Geff Cook and William Hannon, while winger Josh Bryant is unavailable for this weekend.
Romeo said the DPC defeat has stung the Blueheelers playing group, who he said went out expecting the Roosters to roll over for them.
He challenged them to prove that performance was a one-off by rolling up their sleeves against the Black and Whites.
"We've got a chance to redeem ourselves," he said.
"We're lucky it was only early on - it might be what we needed.
"We had a chat at training last week about it but we didn't harp on too much.
"They all had their heads down. They know what happened. It's just their attitude that needs to change.
"Defence is all attitude and if you don't want to be out there, it won't happen.
"Any side, whether it's the Black and Whites or anyone else, will teach us a lesson if we don't show up the right way."
Griffith captain-coach David Milne anticipates the Blueheelers will come out and make a statement at EW Moore Oval.
"I don't expect them to be anything other than what I've been hearing - a good-quality side," he said.
"Everyone has a bad game every now and then - it could have been that or Point could be very good.
"It's still early days, nobody knows how good anyone is yet."
The Black and Whites might have lost the Doug Alpen Memorial Shield to the Waratahs on Good Friday but Milne couldn't be happier with their progress as a side.
Prop Jericho Tanuvasa is set for a return from an ankle injury after sitting out the charity shield match, which saw the 'Tahs come from behind to win 32-24.
"We let ourselves down a little bit defensively, but that's just things we'll work on through the year and it'll come good," Milne said.
"We had blokes in different positions and were just experimenting a little bit.
"Some things worked, some things didn't but for what it was, we were pretty happy."
Josh Charles and Stephen Broome provided the highlights for the Black and Whites with flashy tries on the stroke of half-time and full-time, and Milne has given the pair creative freedom to do what they do best.
"With players like them, you can't take away too much from them," he said.
"I don't want to discourage that sort of play if it doesn't work because it's great when it does.
"They know what they can do, they'll try stuff and we don't want them to go back in their box."