Poor start against City will cost Blacks, says coach

Rugby union

ANOTHER slow start from the Griffith Blacks will mean certain defeat against Wagga City tomorrow, according to coach Seru Rogo.

IN CHARGE: Griffith coach Seru Rogo.

IN CHARGE: Griffith coach Seru Rogo.

The Blacks got away with a poor first half against Leeton on Saturday, turning a 3-0 half-time deficit into a 37-10 win.

But a similar performance will only lead to one thing against the Boiled Lollies, who put 31 points past Griffith in a single half last year when the two sides met at the Coro Club.

"If we're going to turn up like that in the first half we're just going to get run over," Rogo said.

"We can't afford to do that. 

"We need to turn up. Last weekend we could tell in the first half that we definitely didn't.

"The boys have to prepare well - not just at training, physically, but their own mental preparation."

Rogo has been forced to ring the changes for tomorrow's Wagga trip due to several injuries sustained in the big victory over the Phantoms.

Inside centre Paul Laverty broke his collarbone while Lafaele Lale injured the AC joint in his shoulder, with both players to be sidelined for several weeks.

Vaea Mateo will move into Laverty's position with Max Ravouvou to start at fullback, but there are a number of players still in the mix to fill Lale's spot in the front row.

Tino Kaue also comes into the Griffith line-up for Michael Stalley.

Meanwhile, Rogo is set to shift Fiji international Dan Rawaqa to five-eighth to up the talented playmaker's influence over proceedings against City.

The Boiled Lollies are 1-2 after three rounds but Rogo said Griffith should not expect anything other than a tough encounter against a side boasting several impressive overseas recruits.

"They've got a very good team, they're probably just having a slow start," he said.

"They're always up in the top three every year.

"Whenever they play Griffith Blacks they're always on fire and it will be no different this week.

"They've got most of their boys from last year and apparently some very, very handy new ones so we're going to have to be well prepared."

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