Naden backs a test of Magpies' depth ahead of Oberon Tigers clash

The Magpies will be looking to get back on the winners' list this week against the Oberon Tigers but they'll have to do it without some key outs.
The Magpies will be looking to get back on the winners' list this week against the Oberon Tigers but they'll have to do it without some key outs.

Magpies second rower Matt Naden won't be taking to the field this Saturday, but he's backing an injury-hit Cowra to get the job done against the Oberon Tigers this Sunday afternoon.

Naden attended a judiciary hearing on Thursday night for a high arm in last Saturday's loss to the Orange CYMS, with the two week suspension handed down rendering him unavailable for this week's Oberon Sports Ground clash and the following week's Grand Final rematch against the Bathurst Panthers.

However, the 35-year-old said ahead of Thursday's hearing, that, irrespective of whether he plays, or of injuries to the likes of Ben Gunn and Lee McClintock, the Magpies have the depth across the park to get the job done.

"It going to test our structure and depth," Naden said.

It's going to give a couple of the younger blokes a crack from reserve grade, and hopefully they can come in and do the job.

Matt Naden

"It's going to give a couple of the younger blokes a crack from reserve grade, and hopefully they can come in and do the job."

Nevertheless, Naden said he has enjoyed settling into his new team after crossing from Dubbo Westside.

Naden has also re-joined with fellow former Westside Player Claude Gordon, but says he's been well-welcomed by last year's Group 10 Runner-Ups.

"I've got Buggy [Joey Bugg], he's been talking to me a bit, and Warren Williams, it's good having him outside of me, on that right-edge," the 35-year-old said, adding that it's a thrill to watch Williams at his explosive best.

"Sometimes I just give him the ball if it comes out my way and he's pretty hard to pull up."

Naden, who has previously enjoyed time in the halves, says his new role as a second rower has been one that he's embraced in his short time with the Magpies.

"It's good being out on the edges," he said.

"[It's] more involved... [there's a] bit more tackling and that... I don't mind getting in and doing a bit of the hard yards."

After having co-coached at Westside alongside Gordon, Naden said it was exciting to learn under Kurt Hancock, saying that the experienced mentor has a level of meticulousness that has taken him by surprise.

"He sits down ... and sort of picks apart the opponent's game every week," he explained.

"I haven't seen anybody take that sort of role towards preparing for a game... He's a pretty good coach."

While Naden has been battling a hamstring tweak sustained against the Lithgow Workies, he says it has something he has been able to manage on week-to-week basis.

"[I'm] not getting any younger... but it's been going alright.

"Hopefully with a bit of luck I don't have any problems with it."

Regardless, while the Magpies are ready to face a determined Tigers outfit on Saturday, Naden said the side is more focused on doing what it does best after an eight point loss to Orange CYMS last weekend.

"It was a bit chilly over there... [but] you can't blame it all on that stuff," Naden explained.

"[If we] make sure we just do all the one percenters, get ourselves right... hopefully everything else will fall into place."

The Magpies play Oberon at 2.15pm on Sunday.

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