With his side starring down the barrel of four straight losses to open the season, Kempsey Cannonballs coach Carl Thurgood has focused the majority of his attention to the defensive end ahead of their contest with the Southern Cross University Marlins.
"We have been working hard at training on continuing to improve our attitude in defence as well as our defensive structure," Thurgood told the Argus.
"I am expecting a big lift from the side in this department on Saturday."
Through the Cannonballs' three games this season, they have conceded a whopping 171 points in total and at least 50 in each game.
However, Kempsey were without a number of regular first grade players, which has impacted their combinations and depth.
"We will be at full strength this weekend for the trip to Coffs Harbour," Thurgood said.
"We welcome back Braden Farrawell and Kini Duavaca who bring a lot of experience to the side.
"Todd Giddy, who has had a year away from the game, has been training hard for the last few weeks and will also rejoin the side and strengthen our front row."
Thurgood admits it's essential his side begins to register victories in the Upper Mid North Coast Rugby Union competition.
"For us, it's extremely important to come away with the win. We know we have the ability to do so, but have been unable to gel together as a team so far this year," he said.
"I will be looking to our experienced players to really step up this week and set a high standard."
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Macleay Argus newsletter here.
Also making the news: