Head Coach of the Murwillumbah Mustangs Nathan Jordan with captain Callum Howell ahead of their clash with Cudgen.
Head Coach of the Murwillumbah Mustangs Nathan Jordan with captain Callum Howell ahead of their clash with Cudgen. Scott Powick

Rivals ready to clash

RUGBY LEAGUE: Keeping cool under pressure is what both coaches for Cudgen and Murwillumbah will be emphasising before their Round 3 clash tomorrow afternoon.

The traditional rivals square off in one of the more intriguing NRRRL fixtures this weekend.

Murwillumbah have not played since March 24 when they defeated Evans Head in Round 1, while Cudgen are coming off a shock loss to Northern United at home last weekend.

Murwillumbah coach Nathan Jordan said his side have been keeping focused despite the three week hiatus between games.

The Mustangs' boss said his side needed to play with good structure, and not get distracted by the occasion of playing Cudgen away from home.

"When the draw comes out the whole team looks to see when we are playing Cudgen,” Jordan said.

"These games are usually fiery and I think this will be the same.

"Sometimes you can get put off your game and you are worried about a fight so things can go pear-shaped.

"If we can put into effect what we have been training, it will be good.”

For the Cudgen Hornets, getting back to winning ways will be the easiest way to get over the disappointment of last week's performance.

Hornets captain Jake Sands said he was expecting a tough and physical encounter with their arch rivals.

"Every time we come up against Murwillumbah it is a local derby with a few sin bins here and there,” he said.

"I think the game will be tight - I think it will be decide in the forwards with a couple of tries out in the backs.”

Cudgen Hornets captain Jake Sands.
Cudgen Hornets captain Jake Sands. Michael Doyle

After letting in 32-points last weekend, defence has been a key focus for the Cudgen side at training this week.

Sands said his side had worked hard throughout the week focusing on the ruck, and making sure they hold their own against the Mustangs forward pack.

"We just have to really focus on our defence this week because we know they have a really strong forward pack,” he said.

"We got dominated last week in the forwards so we will be really looking to come out hot in the first 10 minutes and set the tone for the game.

"We're really going to focus on our wrestle this week and quick play-the-balls.”

Kick-off for the Round 3 contest will be at 2.45pm tomorrow.

The first game of the day will be the LLT Premiership match between the two clubs at 10.45am followed by the under-18s and reserve-grade.

MORE LEAGUE: PAGE 18



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