Blacktown Workers Coach Steven Hales is under no false illusions, or are his men, about sitting on top of the Intrust Super Premiership ladder.
In just their second year of their partnership with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the Intrust competition, Blacktown Workers have recorded two victories and a draw from the opening three rounds to lead the competition.
“It is great to be sitting on top. However, we understand it is a long season and whilst it is a nice reward, we have a reality check this week in playing Mounties,’’ Hales said.
The Sea Eagles go into the clash against Mounties (Canberra’s feeder club) at Lottoland on Saturday afternoon on the back of a 28-16 win over Newtown Jets.
Mounties started strongly to race to a handy lead in their match against Canterbury last Saturday before being run 34-22 by the Bulldogs to sit in third place.
“They are a fair footy side Mounties. If we don’t turn up and put our best foot forward, we are not going to get the result that we want,’’ Hales said.
Hales said there was plenty of improvement from his team who showed some great mental strength to defy a heavy penalty count, and the loss of hooker Manase Fainu to the sin-bin, to come home strongly against Newtown.
“I was really pleased with our grit. It wasn’t a game where we were clinical by any stretch of the imagination. We found a way. There was a real will to win from the boys. Any time you turn up with that attitude is a great sign,’’ Hales said.
“We went in 20-16 up at half-time and we had a fair bit of adversity in the second half. We were down to 12 men for a little while after losing Manase and at one point, we didn’t have one person on the interchange bench.
“To not concede a point in the second half shows the attitude the boys have and their willingness to put in and turn up for their mate. The boys rallied while Manase was off and scored a try.”
Hales said the win was also special for the ‘Blacktown faithful’ in their first home game of the season at HE Laybutt Field.
“There is a lot expectation on our footy side and the Blacktown people were really excited about seeing their boys play,’’ Hales said.
“At the end of the game, they were talking of the guts the boys showed.
“It is very pleasing that they have got a footy side that is out there trying, and trying to do the club proud every week.”
Round 4 Intrust Super Premiership NSW
Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles vs Mounties
Saturday, March 31
Lottoland, Kick-off 5.15pm
Sea Eagles team
23 Honeti Tuha
4 Jade Anderson
19 John Folau
3 Jacob Loko
5 Jono Wright
6 Tom Wright
14 Joey Lussick
18 Taniela Paseka
9 Manase Fainu
10 Toafofoa Sipley
11 Frank Winterstein
12 Lewis Brown
13 Tom Amone
15 Peter Schuster
17 Tyler Cassel
22 Fred Junior Mauala
21 Tekina Valiea
20 Josh Martin
24 Eric Newbigging