Warriors desperate for victory
WATTLES first-grade coaches Glen and Russell McMillan have been burning the candle late as they attempt to mastermind a game plan to topple premiership frontrunners, Brothers Leprechauns, tomorrow at Platz Oval.
Brothers finished all over Wattles in the first-round clash 54-20, retaining the Danny Ryan Memorial Trophy at Glenholme Park.
Hooker Liam Ross has been the Warriors form forward of recent weeks and will shoulder a heavy burden again tomorrow.
At 167cm tall and weighing 75kg, the Allora-based 19-year-old can hardly be considered among the TRL’s biggest forwards but he has been a defensive dynamo in the green and gold during Wattles’ resurgence.
His work around the rucks and dummy half darts will hopefully give the Warriors some advantage against a Brothers side brimming with confidence.
Brothers former State of Origin star Jason Smith caused plenty of devastation against the Warriors when the clubs last met and will be one whose influence the McMillan mentors must plan to counteract.
Wattles must play for the 80 minutes against a team the calibre of Brothers, a glaring lesson learnt against Oakey last week when it took 30 minutes for them to find their rhythm, by that time trailing 22-0.
With the return of key performers Jason Nightingale and Luke Baker to the pack and the inclusion of Matthew McCarthy in the front row off the bench, Wattles has a pack that can compete.
While short on size, if the Warriors can go forward and allow play makers Jeff Nielsen and Robert Woodbridge room to ply their trade, it will be a competitive 80 minutes of play.
Wattles has gone head to head with TRL top five clubs Valleys, Goondiwindi and Oakey in recent weeks without success.
If the side is to have any hope of a run in the finals series, it meeds to taste victory over the classy Leprechauns.