EVEN when they aren’t at their best, the New England Nomads have proved they are hard to beat after they punished a close to full-strength Tamworth Kangaroos on the weekend.
We get three weeks in a row before finals so there are no excuses to not be in full form by the time we hit finals
The side struggled to hit top gear in the round 14 match after a number of Nomads’ players represented the region in a representative fixture the weekend before.
Coach Jed Ellis-Cluff said his side was close to full strength but their execution was poor and skills were substandard for this point in the season.
“What was really disappointing from our point of view was around the packs, their intensity was a lot higher than ours,” he said.
“They certainly were harder at the ball and tackled a lot harder than we did.
“They had seven of their best 22 out so that was really disappointing considering we had the best team we had put on the park all year.
“We wore them down and then by the end of the game we were cleaning up our game a bit but we were still a long way from where we wanted to be.”
Ellis-Cluff said captain Dave Richards impressed in the 12.19.91 to 3.9.27 win over the Suns and expects him to have a big influence on the finals series.
The Nomads receive another weekend off in round 15 courtesy of the bye before they travel to Moree for their match up against the Suns the following week.
In the lead up to the finals the Nomads will face another two tough tests with clashes against second-placed Inverell Saints at home and the fourth-placed Gunnedah Bulldogs in the final match of the regular season.
Ellis-Cluff said, starting with the Suns, his side will aim to put together consistent performances to put them in good stead to defend their title.
“Coming into the Suns we will really look to put our foot down and make up for last week’s effort,” he said.
“We just want to get back to playing four quarters of really good football.
“We have been patchy the last few weeks.
“We get three weeks in a row before finals so there are no excuses to not be in full form by the time we hit finals.”
Their next home match against the Saints on August 13 will feature a women’s fixture prior to the main game.
The Nomads are calling for all interested players to put their hand up and no prior experience is needed.
Players should contact Ellis-Cluff on 0413 324 844.
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