Group 3 preview: Backs shortage for Taree City Bulls

INJURIES have decimated Taree City's backline resources going into tomorrow's Group Three Rugby League game against Port Macquarie at the Jack Neal Oval.

Fullback Todd Northam is out for the season after breaking his ankle against Wauchope last week. Northam was expected to undergo surgery this week.

Centre/winger Ben Murray has a broken foot and five-eighth Jayden Lewis a torn calf muscle and both will miss the clash against the Sharks. On a positive note Luke Murray has recovered from an ankle injury and will play his first match of the season. He's likely to start at five-eighth. Veteran Troy Betts is also clear to play and he'll slot onto a wing. Jon Kennewell will move from wing to fullback.

"We have plenty of backrowers so I'll move one of them out to the centres,'' coach Phil Adamson said yesterday.

"I'll work that out at training tonight.''

The Bulls produced their best effort of the season when going down to unbeaten Wauchope 20-14 last week. Adamson said two missed goals proved crucial.

"They would have put us eight points clear,'' he pointed out.

However, the Bulls have just one win and Adamson said they need to start getting some points to stay in the hunt for a top five berth.

"I thought we'd turned the corner after the win against Port City but we were disappointing the next match against Wingham,'' he said.

"So the effort last week showed them what they can do. Hopefully we can continue that on against the Sharks.''

Port recorded their maiden win for the season when comfortably beating Forster-Tuncurry last week.

Meanwhile in the other Group Three game this weekend Forster will meet Port City tomorrow at Port Macquarie - the second time in a week the Hawks have headed to Port.