Rain forces Stingrays to lose home ground advantage

FOOTBALL

Rain has caused the Illawarra Stingrays first home double-header at Collegians Sports Ground to be abandoned, with the club now set to travel to Sydney to play.

The Stingrays were due to play their first fixtures at the premier venue against Football NSW Institute on Saturday and Manly United on Sunday, but both were unable to go ahead due to the state of the pitch.

Sunday's clash with United has been postponed, while Saturday's match has been moved to Valentine Sports Park in Sydney.

It is expected the Stingrays will get a reversed home fixture when they meet the Institute again later this year.

Stingrays coach Graham Shaw said while it was disappointing to lose the fixtures at home, Saturday's match gave his side an opportunity to still get some valuable points on the board.

"If we can get some points and some other games don't go ahead, it still might set us out to where we want to be," Shaw said.

"Mentality-wise if you are sitting up there on the table, even if teams have games in hand, they still have to play them and win them.

"If we have gone there and done a job, it is done and over with."

The Stingrays started the season last weekend securing a valuable three points against premiership rivals Marconi.

Shaw believes the emotional high of that win can transfer to Saturday's match with the Institute.

"Training has been cancelled this week so the last time we were together was for that win, so we will still be on that high I guess," Shaw said.

"Hopefully, we can talk about that going into [today's] game.

"Preparation-wise it is always good to have a ball at your feet, but we did have a few niggling injuries from last week which have had a chance to recover."

The Stingrays will need all the fresh legs available for the challenge with a youthful Institute outfit.

"I think they will be quite a quick team," Shaw said.

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