Give us a break? no thanks, says vexed coach
RHINOS captain-coach Xavier Sullivan has pointed the finger at 'poor planning' of the Country Cup representative fixture for the early season disruption in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) calendar.
After picking up a morale-boosting win over Evans Head in the last NRRRL round, the Rhinos squad has had to endure a week off before travelling to face the Tweed Coast Raiders at the Les Berger Field, Cabarita, today.
Sullivan said he was 'not too happy' with the early representative break and hopes it has not dented his team's ability to use the Evans Head victory as motivation when its squares up to the Raiders.
“We had an interrupted pre-season and then two really hard games,” he said.
“I wouldn't say we have gone back to the start but we were just starting to click.
“Hopefully the boys are still switched on.”
Switched on is what the Rhinos players will need to be when they take the field against the Raiders, with Sullivan predicting his squad to be thoroughly examined on all fronts.
“They are an 80-minute team,” he said.
“They do nothing flashy, just the basics for a solid 80 minutes.
“It will be the hardest game of the year,” he said.
The representative break was not all bad news for the Rhinos, with players such as Brad Rodda (ear injury), granted the opportunity to recuperate from minor injuries.
Reserve player Seb Dalton has been drafted into the first grade squad as cover for the squad's lack of 'speed around the field'.