New Holland Cup: Dubbo Rhinos to take on Parkes Boars in round two

MOVING FORWARD: Matt Edwards of the Rhinos looks to break through the CSU defence last weekend. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK
MOVING FORWARD: Matt Edwards of the Rhinos looks to break through the CSU defence last weekend. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

Matt Neill knows his Dubbo Rhinos side has the right structures and set plays in place but adapting and changing those mid-game can make all the difference this year.

The Rhinos dominated possession and the scrum for much of last weekend's New Holland Cup opening round battle with CSU but they couldn't make it count in a close-fought loss to defending premiers.

This weekend they play host to Parkes and skipper Neill wants to see the lessons learned at Bathurst put in place this time.

"It was definitely good but we should have kept the ball in the forwards," Neill said.

"We've got to think about it when we take the contact and when we spread it wide.

"The number nine can stop listening to the halfback and read how we're going and capitalise on that."

It's all about playing smart, according to Neill.


He's excited about the potential of a Rhinos backline which he feels is the most talented the club has had in some time but it's about using it correctly.

The ball could be kept in the forwards again on Saturday against a Parkes side which was out-muscled by Mudgee in its opening round loss.

"I watched the video they had of their game against Mudgee and I'm not sure if it's something we can take away or just credit to Mudgee but their scrum got beaten every time," Neill said of the Boars.

"I know Mudgee have incredible props but it was something to note.

"But they've got a lot of changes so we don't know what to expect. We'll just have our plans and adjust if we have to."

Much like the Josh Miles-led Boars, the Rhinos have a number of new faces throughout the grades this season.

Another is set to start on Saturday with Ilisoni Vonomateiratu likely to line up at No. 8 after missing the loss to CSU and. His battle with Boars big bopper Rusi Lawanikula shapes as one of the highlights of the clash.

"The big Fijian battle. I love contests like that," Neill said.

There could be more changes to the Rhinos side on Saturday after a number of other newcomers, some of those rugby league players looking for a game, attended training on Tuesday night.

"I was really impressed with their skills," Neill said.

"It's tough though because normally you need to earn your spot through training and playing in seconds but it's a shorter season so you've got to play to win.

"But Daz [coach Darren Taylor] told us we're all adults so no sooking or crying if you get dropped, you can talk to him and he'll explain it.

"I think it's fair enough ... this is first grade and there's a competition to be won so you've got to put your best team on the park."

Kick-off is 3.15pm at Apex Oval on Saturday.

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This story Adapting and adjusting can help Rhinos turn possession into points first appeared on Daily Liberal.