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Black Diamond: Underdone Cardiff out to make up ground

CARDIFF coach Nathan Harkness is confident that whatever the Hawks produce against premiers Terrigal-Avoca at Moore Park on Saturday they will be better in a month.

KEY: Tom Yensch (No.51) will play predominantly in the ruck for Cardiff against Terrigal Avoca on Saturday.

Harkness was happy with the Hawks’ 15-point win over Newcastle City in the season opener, but said they will need to lift a level to beat the Panthers on their home turf.

“We were reasonable last week considering we were unable to get any external practise matches,” he said. “We are probably still a little bit underdone as a group and we will have to play their ground better than we have in the past.We havea small ground and they have a really big ground. They have good feet skills, hit their targets and they are very wellstructured because their core group has been together for a long time. Our core group has been together 12 months.”

Terrigal, who beat the Hawks by nine points in last season’s grand final, opened with a 116-point victory over Nelson Bay.Brandon Thomas, Jack Grimmond, Alexander White and veteran Chris Bishop led the way.

Hawks big man Tom Yensch split his time between the ruck and the forward line in the decider. But with Andrew Walker unavailable Harness said Yensch would focus on the ruck.

“He has always played forward against Terrigal, but he will play in the ruck for most of the game on Saturday,” Harkness said. “We have done a lot of work with our forward line and our structure is working a lot better.”

After Terrigal, Cardiff cointinue the tough start to the campaign away to a resurgent Warners Bay.

“We like hard games, that is what makes you a better side,” Harkness said. “We don’t enjoy beating sides by 20 goals. We like tough, hard contested games that challenges your structure and effort around the contest.”

Elsewhere on Saturday,Singleton Roosters open their seasonat home to a Jack Hardman-led Warners Bay.Maitland will be out to make it two-from-two when they host Gosford.City, who boast eight players under 18, will be out to bounce back with a win over Lake Macquarie at Tulkaba Park.Killarney Vale and Nelson Bay will be searching for their first win of the season at Adelaide Street.

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