Waratahs meet the Hawks

Kose Lelei
Kose Lelei

Griffith Waratah Tigers co-coach Kose Lelei wants his side to lift after a disappointing start to the 2017 Group 20 season.

Bad habits reared their ugly head in round one against the Yenda Blueheelers as mistakes kept the Waratahs out of the game.

“We had too many errors in our own half, it killed us against Yenda,” Lelei said.

“We defended way too much.

“You can’t give another team that much ball in your own half.”

A similar playing display will make it incredibly tough for the Waratahs to beat Yanco-Wamoon this week, especially with several players out.

That match against Yenda ended early after a melee broke out on the field and in the crowd as well which resulted in a number of suspensions.

A number of injuries to players along with the suspensions of Sam Rauluni (one week), Sione Tulahe (one week) and Niko Lelei (one weeks) make the Griffith side’s job even harder.

However, Yanco-Wamoon coach Glenn Dumbrell wasn’t letting his guard down and expected a tough match from the unpredictable Waratahs.

“Tim Rice gets them on the front foot going up the middle of the field,” he said.

"They have plenty of strike weapons right across the field, so we need to be aware.”

Lelei was also prepared for the match to go down to the wire which would mirror recent contests between the two sides.

In 2016, the Waratahs won on both occasions but just eight points in total separated the teams in those matches.

“I expect this game to be the same, it will be a tight one as always,” Lelei said.

“We will have to play 80 minutes of footy against them – we can't afford to play in patches.”

Yanco-Wamoon come into the game with confidence having seen off local rivals Leeton in round one by six points.

Dumbrell thought that match was played at a high quality for the first 60 minutes.

The player-coach is looking forward to taking on a side which will pose a tough test for his boys.

“They are very strong and very fast,” he said.

“They can really pile on the points as well so we need to be at the top of our game.”

All sides had a week off last week for the Easter break, and Dumbrell though it was just what his side needed heading into this match.

“We are building into the season quite nicely I think,” he said.

“With the Easter break, we have had two weeks to get ready for round two.”

The action will get underway at the Exies Oval with the under 16s kicking off the day.

The Hawks juniors will be looking to bounce back from a 46-14 loss to Leeton in round one while the young Waratahs come into the game on the back of a 22-all draw to Yenda.

The first grade game will start at roughly 3pm.


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