Manning Ratz wary of Old Bar Clams

IT has been a difficult comeback for former Lower North Coast Rugby Union powerhouses, Old Bar.

The Clams made successive grand finals from 2008 to 2012 but were forced to sit the 2013 season out because of a lack of players. Old Bar returned this year but went through the first round without winning a game while also suffering some heavy defeats.

Manning Ratz will be Old Bar's opponent tomorrow at Taree Rugby Park. And Ratz coach Danial Stone is worried.

Stone looks at Old Bar's roster and wonders why they aren't doing better.

"I don't know what's going on out there, but they have something like eight players who were in our grand final side last year,'' Stone claims.

"A couple more played in the 2012 grand final, so there's some talent there.

"They'll click eventually, I just hope it isn't this weekend and we get ambushed.''

The Ratz lead the competition with Forster-Tuncurry and chalked up a club record score against the Clams in the first round.

This was also the first time the Ratz had beaten Old Bar in a competition match since the Lower North Coast premiership kicked off 2008.

Stone has some selection problems to ponder. However, he quickly adds they're good problems to have.

"When everyone's fit and available we have 28 players,'' Stone said.

Clubs can only use 23 on game day. This weekend Stone will be the only player unavailable as he sits out a two match suspension.

The Ratz also have winger Luke Maroney returning for his first appearance of the season.

"I'll have to shuffle the backline around to fit him in,'' Stone said.

The Ratz haven't played in a fortnight.

Gloucester was forced to forfeit two weeks ago and this was followed by the general bye so Stone hopes his players will be rejuvenated for tomorrow's encounter.