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NEWRL: Out-of-sorts Maitland set to pick apart Lakes

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Are the Lakes United Seagulls flying into a Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (NEWRL) ambush at Maitland Sportsground this weekend?

We’ll find out soon enough… as it seems everything is stacked against them as the Pickers prepare for a big showing on Saturday 11 May.

Following an indifferent start to the 2024 season, the back-to-back Denton Engineering Cup premiers are determined to find some form.

Plus, five-eighth Chad O’Donnell will celebrate his 100th first grade appearance and Maitland’s inaugural women’s tackle side is making its debut at home as the club hosts Sponsors Day.

“We’re looking forward to the clash,” Pickers coach Matt Lantry said.

“We’ve spoken about a few things we need to address and keep on trying to improve.

“So, what better way to do it than back home on Sponsors Day?

“It’s going to be a huge day of footy.

“Five matches, with the women making their debut against Lakes and the open graders tackling Shortland, too.

“It’ll be a good time to get out and watch plenty of action.”

After dropping the Western Suburbs Rosellas’ fixture 36-30, Maitland walked away with a 12-all draw against the Cessnock Goannas in its previous outing.

Those results have seen the Pickers slip to fifth on the ladder.

“Following a below-par performance [the week before], we wanted to challenge ourselves and throw ourselves into everything,” Lantry said.

“I thought we did that… the effort was enormous.

“Cessnock had a good run of possession late in the first half.

“However, we defended really well.

“So, I was proud of the effort, that’s for sure.

“I haven’t seen too many games that have had the physicality or that intensity.

“It was a quality contest, marred by the rain a little bit.

“That tightened things up, so maybe a point each was a fair outcome.”

Lantry remains stoic his charges are focused on the job at hand as they chase the three-peat.

“The boys are definitely motivated to defend their title,” he said.

“And, they’ve worked hard to do it, too.

“They’re a good group.

“The way they played against Cessnock proves this season means something to them.

“But, it also shows how tight this competition is.

“If you’re off just a little bit, you’ll get caught out.

“That’s what happened to us against Wests.

“It’s a tough road trip to Cessnock, they turned up to play.

“Lakes will be no different this weekend.”

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (NEWRL)

Round four results:

  • Cessnock Goannas drew with Maitland Pickers 12-all
  • Lakes United Seagulls d Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 30-18
  • Wyong Roos d Northern Hawks DE Cup 22-12
  • Western Suburbs Rosellas d The Entrance Tigers 20-12
  • Macquarie Scorpions v South Newcastle Lions – deferred to 18 May
  • Bye: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys

Revised round five draw:

Saturday 11 May

Morry Breen Oval (no changes to the schedule)

  • 12.15pm: OWP: Wyong Roos v South Newcastle Lions
  • 1.45pm: U19s: Wyong Roos v South Newcastle Lions
  • 3pm: Denton Engineering Cup: Wyong Roos v South Newcastle Lions

Maitland Sportsground (no changes to schedule)

  • 9am: U19s: Maitland Pickers v Lakes United Seagulls
  • 10.15am: B grade: Maitland Pickers v Shortland
  • Noon: Reserve grade: Maitland Pickers v Lakes United Seagulls
  • 1.30pm: OWP: Maitland Pickers v Lakes United Seagulls
  • 3pm: Denton Engineering Cup: Maitland Pickers v Lakes United Seagulls

Lakeside Sporting Complex (moved from Harker Oval)

  • 10.45am: OWP: Western Suburbs Rosellas v Raymond Terrace
  • 12.15pm: U19s: Western Suburbs Rosellas v Northern Hawks
  • 1.30pm: Reserve grade: Western Suburbs Rosellas v Northern Hawks
  • 3pm: Denton Engineering Cup: Western Suburbs Rosellas v Northern Hawks

Sunday 12 May

Maitland Sportsground (moved from EDSAAC Oval)

  • 1.30pm: Reserve grade: Macquarie Scorpions v Kurri Kurri Bulldogs
  • 3pm: Denton Engineering Cup: The Entrance Tigers v Kurri Kurri Bulldogs

Cessnock Sportsground (moved from St John Oval)

  • 11.15am: U19s: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Cessnock Goannas
  • 12.30pm: Reserve grade: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Cessnock Goannas
  • 2pm: Denton Engineering Cup: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Cessnock Goannas

Bye: Macquarie Scorpions

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