Two players will make their first grade debuts for the Maitland Blacks in their crunch game against Lake Macquarie at Marcellin Park on Saturday.
Second rower Pat Farrell and winger Chris Logan were named in the first XV and come into the side following two losses in as many encounters for the Blacks.
“Both the boys were pretty excited on Tuesday night at training when we told them,” Blacks coach Geoff Golledge said.
“Irish [Farrell] gives us a bit of the enthusiasm we have been missing while Chris [Logan] has been playing pretty well in seconds and gives us a bit of pace out wide.”
Last week the Blacks went down 45-14 to competition front runners Hamilton and seven days earlier it was 35-26 at the hands of second-placed Southern Beaches after leading by seven points at half-time.
As a result the Blacks (28 points) slip to fifth position on the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competition ladder, just one place and one point ahead of a much improved Lake Macquarie outfit.
The Roos have bounced back in 2012 after failing to register a victory last season and recorded an 86-12 annihilation of University a week ago.
Off-season recruitment has served the Boolaroo-based boys well and they will look to break into the top five at the Blacks expense by using the round 12 fixture as a springboard.
“They have a lot of experience in their team, from Sydney and New Zealand rugby, and they have been going along quite well,” Golledge said.
“They are eyeing off a spot in the top five and they will will look to blow us away at home this weekend.
“From our perspective last week was a setback but moving forward I am confident we can get the job done.”
Kick off is 3pm.
In conjunction with Saturday’s game at Marcellin Park the Blacks will hold ladies day with $20 covering entry, nibbles and drinks.
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