Lack of game time hurts Helensburgh

ILLAWARRA COAL LEAGUE 

Helensburgh coach Ryan Powell admits his side will be underdone when they host Thirroul on Saturday as persistent wet weather continues to play havoc with the start of the Illawarra Coal League season.

A week after rain washed out two fixtures in the opening round, Helensburgh and Thirroul will be centre stage after the round's other Saturday match between Corrimal and Collegians at Ziems Park was also washed out.

Powell said his side have spent more time in the gym than on the paddock since rain saw the cancellation of their final trial a week out from season kick-off.

Their round-one match against Dapto was also postponed, leaving the Tigers four weeks without a game.

"We're underdone for sure, you have to be when you haven't been on the field," Powell said.

"But the guys have been good about it and they understand what they've got to do.

"We've just got to make the best of the situation."

Thirroul also had their final trial washed out but opened their season with a tough 12-8 win over Collegians in the only match to go ahead in round one.

Powell was on hand to see the Butchers win and said his team face a tough task against a battle-hardened outfit but won't let their disrupted preparation excuse a poor performance.

"It was a really tough, physical game and I think it can only be good for them [Thirroul]," Powell said.

"They'll improve again this week so we're going to be up against it.

"We understand that and we're just going to put our best foot forward and worry about our game.

"All we can control is what we're going to do, so we'll just turn up, do our best and hopefully our legs won't get too tired. The guys are pretty excited to finally get a game."

While the Dapto-Wests derby was expected to go ahead on Friday night, Corrimal have been hardest hit with disruptions they could little afford as they look to bounce back from recent poor seasons.

The Cougars find themselves two games behind before they've even kicked a ball in 2014 after their round-one clash with Wests was washed out and their round-two contest with Collegians scheduled for Saturday was also postponed.

They will play their first make-up game against Wests at Parrish Park on Thursday.

However, they still face another always difficult midweek match against the defending premiers at some stage in the season.

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