Mount Pritchard Mounties are the competition front-runners as they enter their Round 12 clash against the Canterbury Bulldogs with eight wins under their belt.
These two teams played each other three weeks ago with the Bulldogs were on the wrong end of a 58-18 thumping.
Mounties coach Steve Antonelli insists the Bulldogs will come out a better side this Saturday afternoon.
“We had them two rounds ago and put a bit of a score on them,” Antonelli says. “But I think there’s probably six to eight changes from that side; they had a few blokes out.
“Blokes like Lloyd Perrett and Adam Elliot are dangerous. In their backline [Jacob] Loko is a big, powerful player, so we’ve got to look after them.”
Mitch Cornish stood out for the Mounties in that 40-point onslaught and after enjoying a few weeks in first grade for the Canberra Raiders, he will return to the side to play halfback.
Antonelli is delighted with the addition and believes his inclusion will be a massive boost for Mounties.
“[I am] looking forward to having him back,” he said. “It’s good for the side, he’ll give us a bit of control on the other side of the ruck this week and his kicking game will help too.”
Mounties are looking to bounce back from their loss against Wyong before last week's bye. The Bulldogs also had the week off after enjoying victory over the Newtown Jets.
Antonelli admits the bye disrupted their momentum and continuity they held at the start of the year.
“Coming off a loss is hard, coming off a loss into a bye doesn’t help,” Antonelli said. “In saying that, we’ve probably had our best week of training so far so maybe that’s the week they needed off just to freshen up and come back with the right attitude.”
The Bulldogs are currently sitting in ninth spot but have a strong side this week with the Bulldogs' first-grade side having the week off with the bye.
The Bulldogs have only won a single game since Round Six but are only two wins away from the top four in a tight VB NSW Cup.
This game is set to be an exciting contest with the Bulldogs full of hunger and confidence while Mounties will be determined to retain their top spot on the ladder.
(Belmore Sports Ground, Saturday May 30, 3:00pm)
This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au