Injury list taking its toll on defending premiers

The boot of Hena Tuatea is expected to play a key role tomorrow when the Dubbo Roos travel to Parkes.  
The boot of Hena Tuatea is expected to play a key role tomorrow when the Dubbo Roos travel to Parkes. Photo: KATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

DUBBO Kangaroos captain Shaun McHugh is still confident in his side's Blowes Clothing Cup finals chances but admitted the horror injury list in 2015 is starting to take its toll.

The defending premiers sit in sixth after last week's heavy loss to Orange Emus and tomorrow they travel to Parkes to take on the seventh-placed Boars.

Simon Hegarty, a standout this season in the forwards, will miss this match with a back complaint while Josh Tremain, having already had a limited impact this season, has been officially ruled out for the rest of 2015.

Dan Armitage underwent knee surgery yesterday after missing a large part of the season while Simon Murphy, Eli Kinscher, Tim Phillips and Aaron Payne have all spent extended periods on the sidelines.

"It's been frustrating because we're there or thereabouts but we just can't get it together," McHugh said.

"There's still a great mood and culture around the club and a good vibe.

"You can't help injuries, you've just got to deal with it and get on with it but it would be nice not to have them."

McHugh admitted the loss of Murphy was a particularly painful one, describing him as "the best number ten in the competition".

Murphy is still out with a groin strain but Kinscher is expected to play a full match tomorrow after returning from an ankle injury last weekend.

The captain admitted the 41-12 loss to Emus was a disappointing one and confessed his side was just outplayed.

The Roos now trail fifth-placed Cowra by seven points while Mudgee are a further one point ahead.

Both of those teams face strong tests against top-three sides tomorrow but McHugh refused to be drawn in too much on the importance of this round.

"It's no bigger than the next one or the next one after that," he said.

"They're all big games from here and we just need to keep winning and that keeps the pressure on the teams above us.

"We know we play Cowra and Mudgee in the last two games so if we can win these games and those ones then we're in with a good chance."

McHugh expected tomorrow's match to be won up front with his side keen to repeat the performance from earlier in the year when they defeated the Boars 26-12.

"If we can compete in the forwards, and we think we can, then we know we've got the backs good enough to score," he said.

Tomorrow's match kicks off at 3.15pm at North Parkes Oval.


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