The Goulburn Dirty Reds enjoyed the opportunity to take a break this weekend, in order to prepare for a testing fortnight to follow.
After scheduling difficulties with the ADFA team, who Goulburn were supposed to play this weekend, meant that they were unable to make every fixture on the calendar, the Dirty Reds will instead play them on May 26.
It gives the Goulburn side, who are currently ranked fifth on the ladder, extra training time to ensure that they are ready for what coach Ben Pearson believes will be a very testing round.
“That’ll probably be our most important game so far,” Pearson said.
“We don’t wanna look too far ahead … but that game against ADFA’s a big game for us.”
Between now and then, the Dirty Reds will also play against Young, who are currently languishing at last place on the ladder.
As far as preparation goes, it does not appear to be the ideal warm-up match for the Dirty Reds considering that their next opponents will be the top-ranked ADFA side.
However, Pearson knows that any team in the league can cause an upset.
“It’s not the ideal preparation having this week off,” he said.
“I don’t wanna say too much about Young, but we would hope to do well against Young and then going into an extremely tough game, we need to recognise that.”
Despite the imperfect preparation, the Dirty Reds will go into their matches against Young and ADFA with some good form under their belts.
They have won three from their last four games, and their most recent match against Cooma resulted in a 38-36 victory.
“It’s building well,” Pearson said.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but it is building well.”
It boded well for the Dirty Reds that, although the match against Cooma was far from flawless, they still managed to notch up a win against a side that is very strong at home.
“We did [play to our plans] for periods of that game,” Pearson said.
“There was large periods where we didn’t. But it’s good to come away with the win from Cooma regardless.
“It’s just difficult to play up there. Plus the two styles of the two clubs always makes for a close game, it’s nearly always been that way.”
The key for Goulburn, which is becoming Pearson’s mantra, is to focus on their own game and not worry about what their opponents will bring to the table.
“We just need to concentrate on ourselves,” Pearson said.
“The only way you can control what other people do is through what you do yourself.
“So everyone needs to understand what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re trying to achieve it. If everyone can play that game plan well we should be okay.”