Steamers looking to the future


LOCK Nathan Bright will shift from his favoured No.8 to make way for the next generation of Steamers.

The inspirational skipper will move to the side of the scrum to allow for heir-apparent Ash Lefevre in today’s clash with Temora at Murrayfield.

Coach Mick Raynes said Bright’s move was just natural progression.

“They are big shoes to fill for Ash,” he said.

“Brighty has been at the back of the scrum for so long and his football instincts seem to bring him into the game at the right time, he just finds himself in the right spot to get the final pass, make the try-saving tackle.

“Ash is a different sort of player — a hard-running, tackle-busting forward.

“But he needs to start playing at No.8 because Brighty won’t be around forever.”

Lefevre will have the added responsibility of handling Temora No.8 Niko Degei who is said to be playing his best football of the season, while the Temora backline is nearing the form it displayed at the end of last season when the club took out the Romano’s Cup.

Versatile English import Brandon Lewsey will step into fullback for Nick Barbara in the only other major change.

The Steamers are already locked into the premier division that splits the top-6 from the bottom half of the competition for the second round.

But the Tuskers, who will again play in the lower tier this year, have been playing well above their 9th spot on the ladder.

Temora handed CSU its second defeat of the year with a 17-12 win last weekend after losing by just a point to now ladder leaders Waratahs a week earlier.

Raynes said he was ignoring the ladder when assessing the opposition.

“They are definitely on a roll and will be taking the positives out of their last two games,” he said.

“We know they fancy their chances against us.

“But after a tough game against Griffith this is exactly what we need — a clash against hard bodies and straight runners.

“This is how it will be for the rest of the year, there will be no easy games.”

Raynes said the wet weather was also a problem.

“We are focusing on lifting our intensity for the rest of the year,” he said.

“We have gone to structured drills with a focus on ball-handling and ruck work with the aim of going up a notch each week but none of that is easy with the weather at the moment.”