THE returns of four regular senior players has given Mayne hopes of finally breaking the ice against Coolangatta at Everton Park.
By Terry Wilson
Winless Mayne will welcome back the quartet of Glenn Ryan, Stu Bigney, Jess Henry and Nathan Smyth, inclusions player-coach Luke Faulkner described as a boost to the Tigers’; chances of upsetting the Blues.
“We’ll see how we go,” said Faulkner when asked about the chance of Mayne breaking through with a side that looks, on paper, much better than for many weeks.
“It’s fingers crossed that we can play four quarters. We can match it with anyone but when you get six to seven changes each week it makes it hard.
“This one is probably our best opp for rest of the year.”
Faulkner believes Mayne are a three to five goals better side at home.
“And we know we can match it with Cooly because the last time we played them we could so easily have won,” he said.
“We were five goals up at three-quarter time and then Cooly kicked eight goals to one in the last quarter.”
Coolangatta also have four changes, losing Sam Carins (shoulder), Blake Ebsworth (broken hand), Andrew Haines (unavailable) and Tiernan Carbry (back).
Into the side are half-forward flanker Josh Rogers for his seniors debut, midfielder Matt Gallagher, ruckman Ryan McCabe and Sam Fife, who is returning from illness.
There is no way the Blues want to be Mayne’s first victims of the season.
“We want to get back to how we were a couple of weeks ago,” said coach Neil Mackay.
“That Springwood game (the Blues lost a close one to the Pumas in round 12) knocked our confidence around a bit, then the Magpies were too strong.
“We have to get back on the horse and go again.’