Rivalry resumes between Wallabys and Calliope
RUGBY LEAGUE: A long-standing rivalry will resume tomorrow night when Wallabys and Calliope Roosters clash in a tantalising Gladstone Rugby League Division 1 match-up at Marley Brown Oval.
The match will see second-placed Wallabys take on third-placed Roosters, offering the winner a chance to keep within touching distance of ladder-leaders Valleys.
Wallabys coach Norm Horan has been keeping tabs on the Roosters and expects a tough encounter.
"I've been looking a little bit at Calliope and they've been playing pretty good footy at the moment so we'll have a big job in front of us," Horan said.
"I'm reasonably confident with how we've been going but every club in this competition has been going OK and I'm expecting a tough game.
"If you turn up on the day and the other guys are a little bit off you're going to do well.
"Obviously Valleys are the benchmark at the moment but, even though we were beaten pretty badly in our first game (52-4), I don't think we're a long way off them.
"We've gone back and did a bit of soul searching, looked at ourselves and I think we'll be much better for that hit-out."
Wallabys last outing was a 30-10 win over Tannum in Round 3 and are coming off a bye last weekend.
Horan was yet to decipher whether coming off the bye would be a help or hindrance to his side.
"That's a really tough call because it can go either way. Sometimes you have a week off and get rid of a few of those niggling injuries and you do well out of that," he said.
"Other times once you get a bit of momentum you like to keep that going... I would have rathered a week leading into this because this week is a big test for us.
"Calliope are going pretty well so we'll see how we go.
"We're going to go into this week and leave nothing out on the paddock.
"If we play good, controlled football I think we're good enough."
Wallabys will have a tough ask before kick-off with a couple of big names missing.
"We've got quite a few players out this week. We won't put our best football team out this week by any stretch," Horan said.
Two of Wallabys' more experienced players in Ashley Dodd and Dan Kerr are out.
"Dan's been playing really good football and he's one of those older heads in our team who settles us down when we need it," Horan said.
"That's probably the thing we've been lacking over the years is discipline and that's what I'm trying to bring to the club.
"(Captain) Matty Baker will be there, which will be great and Coen Horan has been playing really good football and he'll be there.
"We've got some good ins but we've just got a few outs which are a bit of a concern but it is what it is.
"Everyone suffers the same thing with this town being a shift work town... we can't whinge about that it's just the way it is."