Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles Coach Steven Hales won’t be wasting any time in round one of the NSW Cup, encouraging his team to pull out the ‘drivers’ at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday.
The Sea Eagles tackle Wests Magpies prior to the NRL clash between Wests Tigers and Manly, with Hales saying round one is not a time to start the season lightly.
“We will judge our performance on energy, effort and execution,’’ Hales said.
“The execution and combinations will build throughout the year. The energy and effort are non-negotiable things.
“We have a very young side and we want to be really enthusiastic. It will be a very parochial crowd out there at Leichhardt and you don’t need any more motivation for round one as every player has been counting down the days to kick-off.
“In golfing terms, we are going to put our wedges away and bring out the driver and have a real whack.Coach Steven Hales
“We want to go out there and really come out swinging and put in our best performance.
“If we can do that, I think we will come away with the result we are after.”
The Sea Eagles will be captained by hooker Zach Dockar-Clay (pictured below) who returns to the NSW competition following stints at Parramatta, Penrith, and Hull KR.
The energetic hooker will be looking to combine well with full-back Leva Li and exciting young halves Luke Metcalf and Cade Cust.
Dockar-Clay, winger Abbas Miski, and prop Kurt Deluis are just three of the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles players who have benefited greatly from training with the NRL squad over summer under Manly Coach Des Hasler.
“The thing about Des is that he is very meticulous in everything that he does and that flows on to the playing group,’’ Hales said.
“When our Blacktown players came back from Manly training, they just leave no stone unturned in terms of their preparation. You just know they will go out there on Saturday and put their best foot forward.
“Leva played a bit of first grade at the Gold Coast Titans. He has worked really hard in the pre-season. He gives us plenty of energy and is a great carrier of the football.
“Physically, I have never seen Kurt in better shape.
“Kurt understands the game and has a real game sense. If he feels he has to take 20 hit ups and make 50 tackles, he can do that. He can also play with a bit of finesse.
“He is a skilful person with a good pass in him. He can really adapt to a game and there is plenty to like about him.”
The match kicks off at 3.15pm.
Sea Eagles team
1 Leva Li
2 Abbas Miski
3 Dane Aukafolau
4 Alfred Smalley
5 John Tohi
6 Luke Metcalf
7 Cade Cust
8 Andy Saunders
9 Zach Dockar-Clay
10 Kurt DeLuis
11 Joshua Martin
12 Tyler Cassel
13 Denzal Tonise
17 Charles Shepherd
18 Fred Junior Mauala