Pirates to bounce back from heavy loss

Credit: Nancye Perrin

West Coast Pirates Coach Daniel Manning has tipped his side to bounce back from last week’s heavy loss to Canberra when they host the Balmain Tigers in their SG Ball Cup Round 6 clash at Ken Allen Field this Saturday.

The Pirates, coming off a 88-18 hiding in Canberra will hope the home crowd will spur them to their first win of the season.

“We’ve got to get our basics right,” Manning said.

Although the Pirates have shown improvements with ball in hand having set season-high points tallies in the last three weeks, defence remains an issue as they have leaked a league-high 270 points in five games.

“Obviously we’re scoring points but our defence and numbering up is our issue at the moment,” Manning said.

Despite the on-field struggles, Manning is impressed with his team’s attitude.

“Some of the points we’re putting up are being scored at the back-end of games, which shows they aren’t giving up.”

Their weekend opponents, the Tigers, haven’t fared much better – sitting third bottom with a 1-4 record and are coming off a 40-6 home loss to the Sydney Roosters.

Balmain hasn’t tasted victory since their Round 3 win over the Western Suburbs Magpies, but Manning knows his side must be wary.

“With the SG Ball Competition, it doesn’t matter which side you play, everyone is going to be strong.

“You can’t take any team lightly because you don’t know what they’re going to throw at you.”

In team news, fullback Tyler Hunt has been ruled out for the season with a back injury which has kept him sidelined since Round 2, while Bowman Stein, Daniel Potaka and Taine Boelen miss out through injury.

“We’ve just had a big injury pool and players are playing out of position,” Manning said.

The game kicks off at 11am, with four State pre-season fixtures to be held later in the afternoon.