Rick Stone is hoping to use the trial match against the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night as a springboard for his squad to gain some confidence heading into the season.
“The start of the season is really important and if we get some confidence and continuity out of this game, we can take that over to the first round,” Stone told the at Seiffert Oval on Friday morning.
“A good start to the season can give a young team a bit of confidence, and a springboard to keep performing throughout the season.”
For this reason Stone has named the strongest squad he has available, and says the Raiders have done the same.
“The Raiders have a different look, with the fullback and around the centres, but they've got a lot of quality there and a big forward pack,” Stone said.
“We've played the Nines, and we've played some lower-grade trials, but with Canberra naming a pretty strong side it's going to be a good hit-out a couple of weeks before the comp starts.
“Apart from Taz (Tariq Sims) who is suspended, we pretty much have our strongest twenty-man squad.”
While some teams may be tempted to focus on analysing the opposition in pre-season hit-outs, Stone believes it is more beneficial to concentrate on his own camp at this stage.
“We've had a little bit of a look at their team, but I suppose with trials you worry about yourself a little bit more,” he said.
“We won't talk about the Raiders as much as if we were approaching a competition game, but we will still have a brief chat about what we're up against.”