Group 11 2018: Dubbo Westside has no concerns about missing out on Josh Merritt signing

HELPING HAND: Alex Frail will switch sides on Sunday to help stiffen up Westside's defence. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
HELPING HAND: Alex Frail will switch sides on Sunday to help stiffen up Westside's defence. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Despite all the progress Westside has made this season there has been one area of concern which has been exploited by opposition teams time and time again.

The right edge defence has leaked a number of points but joint-captain-coach Claude Gordon is confident a number of positional changes can help his side push for a spot in the top five.

Consistent second-rower Alex Frail has moved to the right side for Sunday’s game at Narromine’s Cale Oval while Blaize Fuller has reverted to the wing and Kane Ashby has been called up from reserve grade to slot into the centres.

“Hopefully we can stiffen up that right side defence and not leak as many points and everything else should flow from there,” Gordon said.

“If we can get that fixed we can compete with any side in the competition.

“We’ve been concentrating on that defence and I think we can gain confidence from that. If we can not leak too many points then the confidence will build before a big one against Forbes.”

Gordon was honest when talking about his side’s form this season, admitting he was surprised his side had won twice and sat just outside the top five approaching the season’s halfway mark.

With fifth-placed Macquarie facing a challenge against Wellington on Saturday, victory over the winless Jets on Sunday could propel the Rabbitohs into the top five.

“I didn’t expect to be two from six, I thought we might be zero from six,” Gordon said, he and fellow mentor Matt Naden having helped the club progress greatly.

“It’s really good and the attitude has changed dramatically and you can see that on and off the field.”

One of the few disappointing things for Westside is missing out on signing Josh Merritt in recent weeks.

“It’s disappointing but it is what it is,” Gordon said, admitting it came down to finances.

“Josh and I are close and I had a decent yarn with him about a week ago and I wished him nothing but the best because we couldn’t accommodate him.”

According to Gordon, Merritt hinted at potentially linking with the Rabbitohs next year.

And while that would be a huge signing for the club the attnetion is firmly on Sunday’s game against a Jets side which has struggled for any kind of form this year.

“We can’t get too carried away, Narromine will still be fielding a team out there and any team can beat any other one on their day,” Gordon said.

Sunday’s match at Narromine kicks off at 2.30pm.

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