Roos look­ing to bounce back

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - SPORT - By JAMIE LOWE

The Deni Rovers will be out to avenge last week’s loss when they travel to Kata­matite in round 17 of the Pi­cola & Dis­trict League on Satur­day.

The sec­ond placed Roos suf­fered a shock one point loss to Ber­ri­gan last week af­ter some way­ward kick­ing in front of goal proved costly.

Their op­po­nent Kata­matite are in a pur­ple patch of form, put­ting them­selves in the hunt for a spot in fi­nals with two con­sec­u­tive wins.

In their pre­vi­ous en­counter with the Tigers, the Rovers ran away with a 57 point win.

But with Kata­matite’s re­cent form Rovers as­sis­tant coach Brody Lum­ber said it will take a big ef­fort to get over the line.

‘‘We’re chomp­ing at the bit to get back on the board but we know it’ll be tough,’’ he said.

‘‘We kicked 11.19 last week and have kicked 62 be­hinds in our last three games so we need to fix our kick­ing at goal.

‘‘In re­cent weeks we’ve prob­a­bly been muck­ing around with the ball too much up the ground which has al­lowed the op­po­si­tion to get back in de­fence.

‘‘We need to start hit­ting up our key tar­gets and make the most of our op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’

The Roos will head into the clash still with­out key for­wards Lum­ber and Terry Lum­bar.

They will also have to go with­out key de­fender Peter Lewis, who had surgery ear­lier this week on his dis­lo­cated thumb.

‘‘Caleb Panell missed last week so he’ll slot back into the side,’’ Lum­ber said.

‘‘We just need to leave last week’s loss be­hind and push on.’’

Kata­matite play­ing-coach Jedd Wright and Brodie Mc­Don­ald have been dan­ger men up for­ward with nine goals be­tween them last week, while Pat Rior­dan, Ni­chol Clurey and Har­ris Dick­a­son are oth­ers who have per­formed well.

With the de­fen­sive unit of Matt Horne and Bren­dan Hope as well as key player mak­ers Des Mor­gan, An­drew May, Ricky Wa­ters and Nathan and Dy­lan Kerr, the Roos should make their way back onto the win­ners’ list.

Se­lec­tion: Deni Rovers by five goals.

The Deni Drovers will once again make the trek across to Wagga when they meet Wagga Ag in a South­ern In­land Rugby Union McMullen Cup semi fi­nal to­mor­row morn­ing.

A spot in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal is up for grabs for the win­ner while the loser’s sea­son will come to an end.

The Drovers have met the Ag­gies on two oc­ca­sions this year, go­ing down 31-12 in round three be­fore a dom­i­nant 91-0 vic­tory over an un­der­manned Wagga side in round nine.

Drovers coach Joe Gogarty said the pre­vi­ous re­sults don’t mat­ter now how­ever, with the 2017 pre­mier­ship win­ning coach ex­pect­ing a close en­counter.

‘‘They only had about eight play­ers travel across for that last game so we can’t look back at that and think it’ll help us,’’ he said.

‘‘Their sec­ond grade side was knocked out of fi­nals last week so they’ll have a large group of play­ers to choose from.

‘‘They’ll be young and fit and look to use their speed and skill against us.

‘‘We’ve just got to be smart, stick to what we know and need to be phys­i­cal with our for­wards.

‘‘When they beat us we strug­gled to de­fend the open play so we’ll need to work on that.’’

The Drovers will head into the clash with a near full list, with Veni Mahe set to re­turn this week.

Gogarty also said his side got through last week’s 24 to 13 win over Wagga City un­scathed.

‘‘City were a more phys­i­cal side but Ag­gies will be more skil­ful,’’ he said.

‘‘Veni will be very handy hav­ing scored two tries in his pre­vi­ous game.

‘‘It’s all about us get­ting bet­ter each game now.

‘‘If we im­prove in small ar­eas of our game then the re­sults will re­flect that.

‘‘We need to dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion and add points early in the game to get con­trol.’’

The match be­tween the Drovers and Wagga Ag will be held at Con­nolly Park with a kick-off time of 11.50am.

Rovers de­fender Caleb Panell will re­turn to the side this week.

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