The Dubbo Kangaroos need to improve their consistency and cohesion if they are to start hitting their peak in Blowes Clothing Cup in 2018, their coach says.
Beau Robinson said his team couldn’t afford to lose concentration for large passages of play and needed to eradicate the lapses from their game.
He is hoping the Roos can put together an 80-minute performance when his team travels to Grinsted Park for a match against the Forbes Magpies.
“I think consistency is the big thing for us,” Robinson said.
“There will be phases of the game where we are going really well but then we will go away from that.
“We can’t afford to be knocking off for 10-15 minutes against a Forbes team that we expect to be ready for a big match.”
The Platypi are hurting after a shock 29-7 defeat by the Cowra Eagles on Saturday, the third loss in a row for the defending premiers.
However Robinson believes that could make the task greater for his men, because Forbes will be out to turn it around.
“Obviously their loss to Cowra was a surprise but I don’t think it helps us at all,” the coach said.
“It’s probably going to ensure they are ready for a big game.
“I’d expect a very different performance to the one against Cowra. We are going to have to be ready for them.”
The Roos met Forbes in the opening week of the season and they were beaten 31-7 on home turf at No.1 Oval.
But Robinson said his team had come a long way since then.
“There has been plenty of individual improvement and the guys who have been in the team for a while are learning each others game.
“Cohesion has been a factor [in the early season form]. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to name the same guys in the forwards or the backline for two games in a row all season.
“But guys like Hamish Gordon and Jock Brownhill are starting to understand how each other plays and that will help.”
Last week the Roos produced a good defensive effort against the Emus to keep the score to 21-6, the smallest win the Orange side has had this year but the side is undefeated and has a commanding lead on the ladder.
“The competition is still close, apart from Emus. The focus for me isn’t if we can catch Emus, it’s about making that top four and I think most teams would be the same,” Robinson said.
“You get the home ground advantage if you finish on top but all I’m worried about is making the top four.”
Robinson also praised the efforts of the Roos lower grade teams in their start to the season, with the club in a strong position.
“Our colts are undefeated and leading the competition and our second grade team has had just one loss. Third grade has forfeited a couple of games but had a win,” he said.
“For our club, it’s not all about first grade. We want all grades to be doing well.”
The match between Dubbo Kangaroos and Forbes at Grinsted Oval starts at 3.15pm on Saturday.