The return of versatile outside back Tyson Fuller and a relatively full roster will help the Dubbo Rhinos when they take on New Holland Cup heavyweights the Narromine Gorillas on Saturday.
The Gorillas are undefeated so far in 2018, claiming six bonus point wins and keeping their opponents scoreless on two occasions.
The Rhinos lost to Narromine 43-10 back in round four, but coach Guy Turner said they’ve learned from the experience.
“We’ve been working on supporting each other in running the ball, and tightening up around the rucks,” he said.
“We’ve been working on that since the last time we played them; that’s an area where they’re better than anyone else.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing – if you’re working on something the best side is doing, it’ll help you against everyone.”
Fuller returns to the side after time out with a concussion, and Benny Semmler moves up from second grade in the second row. Eddie Gusuivalu and Viliame Turuva make their returns, while English import Ryan Sumner will start at number eight.
“We’ve really missed [Fuller] … it’ll be fantastic to have him back on the field, he’s just a brilliant player,” Turner said.
It’s especially good given the opposition.
“Their forward pack is just so well-drilled, they’re the best forward pack in this competition, they’re back row is outstanding, they’re really hard-working over the ball and serve the Gorillas very, very well,” he said.
“They’re the benchmark by a country mile in this competition so it will be a tough game … looking forward to it.”
The game, and Narromine Ladies’ Day, kick off at 1.30pm at Cale Oval.