Cameron Greenhalgh's Western Rams have brought a lot to the table in 2020.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Effort? Yep. Enthusiasm? You bet. Courage? Like you've never seen before.
But what the men in green haven't enjoyed throughout the inaugural Presidents Cup campaign is an experienced playing roster.
Don't get it twisted, though.
Harry Siejka and Jackson Brien have played a stack of meaningful football in their years, the former enjoying runs in both the NRL and Super League, but there just hasn't been enough veteran hands on deck throughout Western's 0-6 start to the campaign.
Well, that's all about to change.
Greenhalgh announced on Monday Orange Hawks captain-coach Willie Heta and Bathurst St Pat's powerhouse Zac Merritt are set to join the Rams for their round seven clash with North Sydney and there could be more big names to come.
"These young blokes in our side are doing their best but they just need a few older heads," Greenhalgh said, Merritt a member of the Forbes' side Greenhalgh coached to a Group 11 premiership in 2016.
"Heta and Merritt will come into the side ... just to name a couple. Heta's going to slot straight into the halves with Harry (Siejka) and will hopefully take a little bit of heat off him.
"Nic Tilburg played well on the weekend and he'll get his shot again."
Against the Wentworthville Magpies at Mudgee's Glen Willow Sporting Complex on Saturday, Tillburg crossed just before half-time to help cut the city side's lead to 8-6.
But despite the Magpies running away with it in the second half and claiming a 24-6 win, their first of the campaign, the coach was happy with the resilience his side displayed.
"It was a tight contest for ages," Greenhalgh said.
"It was back and forth for a little bit but we just put too much pressure on ourselves to score points.
"We came up short a few times and then had some lapses in defence."
It's been a challenge run for the Rams in 2020, but a player who's had it as tough on the field as anyone is Siejka.
The 28-year-old's played alongside multiple different halves partners so far, a chore Greenhalgh thinks the veteran has handled tremendously.
"He's pretty easy going and has been really good with it all," he said.
"He was disappointed with his efforts on the weekend but that's the honesty that he brings to the side."
Heta is set to bring some stability to what's been a crazy six weeks of combinations - Mitch Burke, Brendan Hands and Tilburg have all played at five-eighth.
As for Merritt, he'll be a huge boost for a relatively light Rams pack and ease some of the burden on Bathurst brothers and Western workhorses Jake and Jed Betts.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.