Group Three Rugby League: Macleay Valley Mustangs’ strength returns

Palm: Macleay Valley Mustang's centre Stephan Blair shrugs off a Port City Breakers defender in their loss on Sunday. Photo: Ivan Sajko.

Palm: Macleay Valley Mustang's centre Stephan Blair shrugs off a Port City Breakers defender in their loss on Sunday. Photo: Ivan Sajko.

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The Macleay Valley Mustangs first grade side will have up to four players returning to the field for their home-field clash with the Forster-Tuncurry Hawks on Sunday, including their coach Dennis Ritchie.

“We were without the majority of our forward pack in our loss against the Breakers on Sunday,” Ritchie said.

“Cousins William Lockwood junior and Lionel Lockwood stepped up from the U18s side to come off the bench for us and everyone has said they played really well.”

Despite missing key players, the Mustangs challenged the undefeated Breakers side and if it wasn’t for a lapse in concentration for the 10-minute period after half-time, they could have earned the victory.

It was the first loss of the season for the Mustangs, but they will have a good opportunity to bounce back against the winless Hawks.

“We are confident heading into every game but we still need to turn up, if we don’t then they will put points on us," Ritchie said.

“I want us to work on staying in the grind and we can’t fall asleep out there.”

The Mustangs have a tough schedule for the first half of the season, with the majority of their matches played on the road.

However, the Mustangs will have plenty of home games for their run towards the finals.

“If we can get through this tough period with a great record then it will set us up nicely for our stretch of home games," Ritchie said.

Sunday’s action begins with Ladies League Tag at 11.30am with first grade kicking off at 3.15pm.

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