Vikings headed to Shoalhaven for tough Illawarra Rugby test

Physical contest: Vikings breakaway Dane Nethery will play an important role at the breakdown on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts.
Physical contest: Vikings breakaway Dane Nethery will play an important role at the breakdown on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts.

Vikings will put their seven-game win streak on the line when they travel down to Shoalhaven on Saturday.

The winning run commenced when Vikings defeated the Shoalies 50-14 in round six and coach Sean Barrett is expecting a tough clash between two sides desperate to secure a place in the competition’s top four. 

“We’ll have to start really well,” Barrett said. “Shoalhaven in Shoalhaven are a hard team to beat, they have threats across the board. We definitely need to be wary of what they’ve got, but we also need to focus on ourselves and continuing that momentum we’ve got.”

Vikings recorded a gritty 14-10 victory over University a week ago in a match which the 2017 grand finalists controlled possession and field position for much the the game, but struggled to convert those opportunities into points. 

For Barrett, the key to victory this weekend will be capitalising on those chances, especially against a team as dangerous in attack as Shoalhaven. 

“The Brandon brothers are very dangerous players. The key is just to bring the line speed and individually making your one on one tackles. It’s also important to look at their options and scanning what’s in front of you.

“It also helps if we can limit their time with the ball. We need to make sure when we have the ball we’re building phases and pressure. If we can convert pressure into points, unlike last week, it will help a lot.”

Elsewhere this weekend, Shamrocks host University, Avondale faces Camden, Campbelltown take on Tech and Kiama play Bowral.

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