NSW Country halfback Jade Porter.Maitland Pickers coach Ron Griffiths hopes the return of NSW Country halfback Jade Porter gives his team a necessary attitude adjustment when they host South Newcastle on Saturday.
Maitland have been without their 2011 grand final hero for three weeks, with Porter travelling to Samoa to represent NSW Country.
Since then Maitland have scored gritty wins against Port Stephens and Central Newcastle, while also losing a gripping derby against Kurri Kurri.
Griffiths is pleased to have Porter back on deck to help his troops tame the Lions at the Maitland Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.
“Yes, he’ll [Porter] be back,” Griffiths said.
“He’s obviously a quality player so it’s good to have him available.”
Souths were the winners when the two teams met back in round seven, claiming a 34-22 win at Townson Oval.
Griffiths believes an improvement in attitude from that encounter will be the catalyst for Maitland claiming the right result come Saturday afternoon.
“It’s going to be a very tough one, they’re only one point behind us and have been going well of late,” Griffiths said.
“They’re certainly going to turn up wanting to win, so we have to go into it with the right attitude.
“When we played them at the start of the year we were way off the mark attitude wise. I think they just wanted it more than we did on the day.
“We need to fix that. Attitude is a very hard thing to instil in your players, but it’s the most important thing.”
Griffiths is confident his team can show the level of improvement required from recent weeks to build enough momentum to ensure the reigning premiers make the 2012 finals.
“We need to improve everything, it’s about individuals getting the little things right,” Griffiths said.
“Hopefully we stick to our game plan; we need to improve a little bit every week from here on in.”
While the Pickers are delighted to have their number seven back in action, Griffiths has some selections concerns and will be without fullback and former Penrith Panther Ryan Walker and Vern Mason through injury.
“Ryan won’t be available and Vern has a niggling knee injury that he’s been carrying all season and he won’t be right,” Griffiths said.
First grade kick off is at 2pm.
In other Pickers news, the club will host a Maitland Pickers Tribute Dinner at Maitland Town Hall on Saturday night, coinciding with the club’s second Old Boys Day of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Several Pickers legends will be in attendance at both events and all former Maitland players and supporters are welcome.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.