Epi Sadrodro put in a big effort for the Parkes Spacemen last week, playing the full game in the front row. Photo: Jenny Kingham 0516League_0840
After two solid wins to start the 2016 Group XI season, Parkes Spacemen will face a sterner test when they head to Dubbo to take on Macquarie in Round 3 this Sunday.
The Spacemen have recorded convincing wins over Wellington and Nyngan, despite not being at their best.
The departure of Justin Toomey-White has seen the Cowboys become a shadow of their former selves while the Spacemen were expected to get the points on home turf against the Tigers.
Sunday’s clash with Macquarie, a side they lost to in the pre-season, will give coaches and supporters alike a better understanding of where the Blue, Red and Whites are at.
Injured captain-coach Dennis Moran is confident of a good performance from his men.
“We played well against Nyngan, but Macquarie are probably a stronger side at this stage,” Moran said,
“They are more structured and a bit more physical.
“We will need to improve in a couple of areas if we are to get the points on Sunday.
“We will continue working at training tonight and hopefully we will have everything right for game day.
“Our line speed and dominance in defence need to be better against the bigger sides.
“Our line speed will improve if we can control the ruck a bit better.
“Against Nyngan last week, our second half completion rate was at 85 percent which is very good.
“It showed that when we control the ball we can dominate other sides.
“It is where games are won or lost.
“If we are not holding onto the ball, we are giving the opposition the chance to put us under pressure and score points.
“It is something we will keep working on,” he said.
Epi Sadrodro played the full 80 minutes in the front row last week and impressed the good crowd in attendance at Jock Colley Field.
Sam Dwyer continued his great form and received good support from his Western Rams teammate Brandon Tago.
While Moran will miss at least another six weeks and Jordan Pope around the same amount of time, the Spacemen welcome back Group XI forward Ethan McKellar who will add some punch in the middle of the park.
Players in the lower grades have been performing well and some will likely get a chance in the top grade on Sunday.
“Ideally we would like to name the same 17 each week to get some combinations going,” Moran said.
“Unfortunately it is not the case and we will make do with the players we have.
“Our halves are a good example.
“They are slowly forming a good partnership and are starting to understand each other’s games.
“Each week they are getting better and I am hoping for another improvement this week,” he said.
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