The challenge of rising to another level is what has pleased Blacktown Workers Coach Stephen Hales the most over the past fortnight.
The Sea Eagles recorded a 28-all draw with Newcastle Knights in the opening round of the Intrust Super Premiership before running in nine tries to thump Wentworthville Magpies 46-0 in very humid conditions last Saturday.
“A lot of people talk about the 46 points we scored, but what was even better was we kept a side to zero in almost 38 degrees,’’ Hales said.
“With two to three minutes to go in that heat, you could see a team that was desperate to keep the opposition to zero.
“It showed to me we are really focusing on our standards and where we want to be as a football side. Whenever you turn up with a good attitude and professionalism, you always give yourself a chance to win games, and that’s what we’ve done.”
The main talking point from the huge victory was the four tries scored by second-rower Jack Gosiewski (pictured).
His performance alongside that of five-eighth Tom Wright, prop Taniela Paseka, and hooker Manase Fainu saw the four named in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week.
Hooker turned half-back Joey Lussick led his side well around the park while winger Jade Anderson crossed for two tries in the win.
Hales said Gosiewski was the type of player who inspires team-mates.
“If you judge a player on two things, one the opposition doesn’t like playing him, and two, your team-mates love playing next to him, well that’s Jack to a tee,’’ Hales said.
“He does all of the little things in the game great like your one per centres and his attention to detail is fantastic.
“Jack leaves no stone unturned. He plays with great passion and a great attitude. He showed last Saturday that there is more to his game. He ran some beautiful lines, showed he can score tries, and he has a nice slight of hand.
“He is a player who has really come on since coming to Manly from Souths. I don’t think it will be long before we see him back in the NRL.
“That’s the great thing about the Sea Eagles club at the moment is that it is very competitive for spots.
“The players know if they don’t turn up and put their best foot forward, they are not going to get picked. It keeps everyone on their toes.
“With Manly winning the way they did on Sunday, to beat Parramatta 100-0 in both grades over the weekend, is a real testament to the boys and how hard they are working.”
Blacktown Workers play Newtown at HE Laybutt Field today in their first home game of the season at Blacktown. The Jets beat St George-Illawarra 24-12 last weekend.
“Newtown is going to present a fair challenge in itself. They have a wealth of NRL experience,’’ Hales said.
“If we are below what we did last week, we are not going to come away with a win. We need to make sure that Wenty is gone and we are on to our next game now.
“There is a bit of expectation on us from the Blacktown faithful and we are very keen to play in front of a parochial home crowd.”
Manly prop Darcy Lussick will play his first premiership game of the season for Blacktown Workers after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in a trial against Cronulla in mid-February.
Round 3 Intrust Super Premiership NSW
Sunday, March 25, HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown
3pm - Blacktown Workers v Newtown Jets
1pm - Rd 3 NSWRL Jersey Flegg: Manly v Cronulla