Illawara v North Sydney
WIN Stadium, Saturday 19 March, 3:00pm
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www.steelesports.com.au

The North Sydney Bears face a tough task taking on the Cutters at WIN Stadium but are desperate to overturn a crushing 42-10 defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers last weekend, with coach Ben Gardiner making several changes to the team line-up.

“We obviously had a fairly difficult round last week against a really good side but one thing we don’t accept at our club is poor performance and guys not turning up to play the way we expect them to,” Gardiner told NSWRL.com.au.

“Leading into this match you can see from the team list we have made some changes and adjustments to our line up – that’s a message to our players that we have high standards at the Bears and we no longer accept below-par performances.”

While Illawarra possess the likes of Shannon Wakeman, Josh McCrone, Shaun Nona, Adam Quinlan and Drew Hutchison, North Sydney recognise while they are a young side, they need to make up for it with enthusiasm and hustle.

“We know the Cutters are a good team with a lot of experience in their side,” Gardiner said.

“For us, we need to make sure we get out there and play our game right this weekend. We’ve brought some youth and exuberance into the side. One thing we don’t have as a team is experience.

“When you don’t have experience, one of the best ways to approach the game is with energy and that’s my coaching style – I coach the team in an energetic fashion and we’re looking for a couple of those younger guys to step up and provide that energy that wasn’t there last week, particularly at the start of the game.

“There could be mistakes but you’ve got to be prepared to deal with that.”