Adam Perkins.Maitland Blacks coach Geoff Golledge is heading off any complacency going into Saturday’s trip to take on Nelson Bay.
Nanjing Night Net

Bill Strong Oval hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Blacks in recent years and Golledge said his team wouldn’t be taking the Bay lightly despite their position on the table.

“We certainly won’t be (taking them lightly), we’ve always struggled up there against them except for last year where we got away from them early,” Golledge said.

“It’s always a hard battle against them and I’m not expecting any different this week, they’ve got a pretty big forward pack and some reasonable backs. They certainly haven’t been anybody’s bunnies this season.”

Maitland won the round five encounter against Nelson Bay at Marcellin Park 34-12 and Golledge feels the week off has freshened up his team sufficiently for the run in to the finals.

“The guys came back from the last break well and training on Tuesday was energetic and enthusiastic,” Golledge said.

“The break came at the right time for us with the run in to the semis, we definitely needed it with a lot of hard games coming up.”

Maitland are fifth on the table with 36 points and while Golledge said his team had suffered some setbacks in 2012, the Blacks are more concerned with looking up the table rather than behind at the chasing pack.

“At the start of the year people might have looked at the roster and just thought it was going to happen but teams need time to gel,” Golledge said.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries again this season, Michael Howell has only played two games since coming back from the ACT.

“Our expectations are very high, we want to win every game and finish as high as we can and hopefully build that momentum before the finals.”

Maitland will be without two-time Anderson Medal winner Adam Perkins with a shoulder ligament injury, with Golledge deciding to be cautious with the veteran forward.

“Adam is out which is a blow, he suggested to me he could play but we’ve erred on the side of caution,” Golledge said.

Dave Currey comes in for Perkins in an

otherwise unchanged line-up from the team that drew with Wanderers two weeks ago.

Kick off is at 3pm.

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