Magpies have Bell in sights
LOWER Clarence will be out to make amends against Northern United this weekend after their Round 1 loss to the Grafton Rhinos last Saturday.
Fielding a depleted side against the Rhinos the Magpies will welcome the return of several key players in their second-round clash with the Dirawongs on home soil
United blew away Ballina last week in poor conditions running out winners 28-10.
Ballina coach Don Dickson said although the Dirawongs were impressive their play revolves around one player.
“Everything they do involves their five-eighth, Roy Bell,” Dickson told the Examiner.
“Their forwards like to play on the edges and they have pretty good structure and complete their sets.”
Defeating last year's semi-finalists will be a big ask for co-coaches Ricky Binge and Dallas Waters' men but with a home-ground advantage the Magpies will be hoping an upset is on the cards.
“We will be close to full strength but I'm not sure about Xavier (Sullivan) who has a hand injury,” Magpies coach Ricky Binge said.
“Ben Maloney is also out and I'm not sure on Brett O'Connor but apart from that we should field a near full-strength side.”
Binge added he is well aware of Bell's impact on the field and will be telling his players to limit the star five-eighth's opportunities with the ball.
“We know most of the stuff they do comes from Bell so we'll need to cut down his options,” Binge said.
“We need to get some good go forward and then use our pace out wide. It's important for us to show the fans we can be competitive and hopefully there will be a good crowd on hand to watch the game.