RUGBY UNION: Forwards answer SOS
AFTER struggling for numbers, the Cossacks have called on a few familiar faces to help out.
Iluka Cossacks coach Glen Ayres was positive about the side's chances on Saturday against a Ballina side which sit two points below Iluka on the table.
"We have had a few players out through injury and other commitments and this weekend are looking to field a strong a squad," he said.
"Everyone is pretty keen after having a couple of weeks off and the time off has been a bit of a blessing."
Ayres said the squad would be bolstered by the return of a number of more experienced players who had come back into the mix at an opportune moment for the club.
"Robert Wake has come back into the frame with Nathan Callister too and they are both pretty handy," he said
"They offer a bit more experience and one is a front rower and the other a lock so it will mean we can be a bit more competitive in the scrums and line-outs."
Callister made a surprise appearance in the side's last game against the Evans River Killer Whales, after receiving an SOS call on the day of the match.
"I actually ran on to the field about 10 minutes into the game and I think we only had one on the bench when I arrived," he said.
"But it was a pretty good effort against a fairly professional side."
The return of the experienced Callister who hung up his boots last year, would definitely be a boost to the side, but the man himself was not 100 per cent certain of his continued involvement.
He said he had really enjoyed the run against the Killer Whales and he was concious of his commitments outside of sport and the need to let younger players get their chance.
But he left the door open for another game.
"We will see what happens, you never know," he said.
Ayres was also looking forward to the seeing how young players Peter Laurie and Barney Anderson perform after their run with the Far North Coast Colts side last weekend in Tamworth.
He said they would be "raring to go" after their opportunity to play against those their own age and he was glad they had a chance to get noticed at a representative level.
As for the Ballina side they played in round one, he was sure they would be more of a challenge the second time round after that first game was played in slippery conditions.
"I have heard they have a few more younger players and I think it will be a good game," he said.
"We are just going to go out there and get a few wins so we can start getting back up the table."
Cossacks play at Ken Leeson Oval at 2.30pm on Saturday