MANNING Ratz have a great opportunity to score the club's maiden victory over Old Bar in the Lower North Coast Rugby Union competition tomorrow at Old Bar.
The Ratz haven't beaten Old Bar since the LNC premiership was formed in 2008.
"The boys are pumped - we're looking to win the Charlie Crook trophy for the first time,'' coach Danial Stone said.
The trophy is named in memory of Charlie Crook, the son of Richard Crook, an Old Bar life member and former Ratz president.
"It's been a long pre-season,'' Stone pointed out.
"We started training in January and this is our first game. Everyone's keen.''
The Ratz were grand finalists last season but have lost some key players from that squad. The majority have returned to Old Bar as the Clams didn't field a team in 2013.
However, Stone is confident the club can cover those losses.
Main off-season acquisition is former Country Seconds rugby league representative Clint Walker, who will start at fullback. Stone said Walker was still settling into the game.
"I think he played a bit of rugby when he was a kid, but he's still finding his way,'' Stone said.
"We'll start him at fullback where he can get a bit more space.''
Stone added the Walker has a 'massive boot.'
He was also a frequent try scorer in his league days.
"But I don't think we'll see the best of Clint for about five or six games,'' Stone added.
"He still has some issues to sort out in defence.''
Former representative second rower David Rees has also signed for the Ratz and he'll help fill the gap left by Pete Wilson and Chad Lambert, who have returned to Old Bar.
Stone is predicting a torrid match, even though the Clams have had problems with player numbers in the pre-season.
'"We won't be taking them lightly - we saw them play in the gala day and they will have improved since then,'' he said.