WINGHAM hasn't experienced much joy in Group Three Rugby League games against the two Port Macquarie clubs in recent years, when the Sharks and Breakers were the dominant clubs.
However, the Tigers get the opportunity to post a second win over a Hastings club in a matter of weeks when they meet Port Sharks on Sunday at the Wingham Sporting Complex. Wingham beat Port City at the complex on April 27. That was Wingham's first win of the season and they haven't dropped a match since.
Coach Mick Sullivan said he isn't concerned about Wingham's history against Port teams. He's concentrating on this year and this week.
"Both the Port clubs have probably come back to the field a bit this year and they've had some injuries,'' he said.
"So it's probably not a bad time to be playing the Sharks.''
However, Sullivan wants to finish the first round on a high. This will also be the start of three consecutive matches at home for the Tigers, with the Tigers playing the Sharks, Forster-Tuncurry and Wauchope, while the bye for the long weekend is also part of the mix.
Wingham sits on eight points, two shy of leaders Macleay Valley and Wauchope and two clear of Port Sharks and Forster-Tuncurry.
"If we get a win on Sunday we could open a bit of a gap between the other teams and that would be good going into the second round,'' Sullivan said.
Wingham will welcome prop Blake Fraser back into the squad. Fraser has recovered from a calf injury and will start from the bench, with Joel Kliendienst and Nick Beacham to remain the starting front rowers.
Tim Watson returns to the back row. However, winger Lachie Williams is unavailable this weekend and Sullivan has yet to decide on his replacement.
Youngster Jarrod Gibson made his first grade debut in Williams' absence against Old Bar and did nothing wrong. Sullivan said he has a couple of options.
"Corey Wheeler came on as a replacement last week and was pretty solid - I'm not too worried about filling the spot,'' Sullivan said.
Sullivan admits the Tigers were a bit off their best despite the comfortable 38-4 win over Old Bar last week, although he added the Pirates were a willing opponent.
For the second successive week Sullivan came off with around 15 minutes remaining and admit he was 'a bit lame' going into the match, but will play on Sunday.
He concedes he's looking forward to the free weekend.