Cowra coach Steve Sutton is targeting games against Bathurst St Pat’s, Mudgee Dragons and Lithgow Workies as the Magpies aim to consolidate a spot in the Group 10 top three before the second round.
The close nature of the competition has Sutton wary of all rivals but he’s identified the next few weeks as an opportunity to springboard to the summit of the ladder.
Cowra put together one of their best showings in the NRL curtain-raiser victory over Bathurst Panthers last start, a vital win for the swoopers who were staring at a third straight loss ahead of the bye.
The victory and last week’s bye has put the Magpies fourth one point adrift of Panthers and Hawks who share second place and one win off ladder leaders CYMS.
“It’s pretty even this year apart from Blayney who are struggling. It seems the other teams are all capable of beating eachother on any given day which is how it should be,” Sutton said.
“We have to start stringing a few performances together. We need to go back-to-back-to-back and improve all the way through and get some consistency about us.
“If we win on Sunday and jag the next two we’ll be in really good stead for what looks like a tough second round for us.”
This Sunday Cowra hosts Bathurst St Pat’s at Sid Kallas Oval and Pat’s are facing a fourth straight loss.
“St Pat’s started well but have lost their last three so they’ll be desperate to win,” Sutton said.
“We’ll have to be on our game like we were against Panthers, anything less and we could be in for a long afternoon.”
The same side that beat Bathurst Panthers two weeks ago has been named for the St Pat’s clash.
It’s likely to be a 17 that Sutton will try to field consistently over the next few weeks, trusting there’s no injuries.
“We have choices but this 17 at the moment have got there on their merits,” he said.
The match is scheduled to begin about 2pm on Sunday afternoon with the ladies league tag kicking off proceedings at 10am.
Cowra: 1 Jeremy Gordon, 2 Callum Clyburn, 3 Bradyn Cassidy, 4 Lee McClintock, 5 Zac Browne, 6 Warren Williams, 7 Joseph Bugg, 8 Ronald Lawrence, 9 Benji John, 10 Blake Tidswell, 11 Mitch Browne, 12 Josh Rainbow ©, 13 Jay McClintock. 14 Desi Doolan, 15 Will Ingram, 16 Zach Starr, 17 Toby Apps
Coach: Steve Sutton