Simamao wary of struggling Wolves before Northern derby
By Tate Spiteri
The Northern Thunder will go in strong favourites to win their 3rd game of the season this weekend when they meet cross-town rivals the North West Wolves at Seabrook Reserve.
But second-year Thunder coach Ed Simamao remained tight lipped about his clubs chances to start their season with an impressive 3-1 record.
“We know they’re having a bit of a slump and they’ll be looking at a team to go back too, so they’re going to come strong,” he said
Simamao also noted that the added spice of the cross-town rivalry could ignite the struggling Wolves.
“We’re all North side so it’s a battle of the North, there’s always a bit of extra feeling for a derby.”
“They’ve had a bad start but they’re going to come prepared this week, we are looking forward to a good fight.” He said
The Northern Thunder, now in their 3rd year of the First Grade competition have continued to improve after winning the wooden spoon in their first season and finishing 4th in their second.
Simamao couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason for the Thunder’s progression but did say he knows the club has a lot of young talent.
"We are trying to build our club. We're not looking at winning this year, and maybe not next year. But in the next couple of years we're going to be a very strong club."
In terms of the current stars of the squad, the coach heaped the praise on Dion Arana Masoe.
“His presence on the field is a big difference, obviously he’s a state player and just having him there is a big X-Factor.
Masoe, along with William Sila and Siona Tauafao have been key players for the Thunder so far this season
In this rounds other matches Doveton host Sunbury and Altona get their chance to atone for last weeks loss to Werribee when they meet the winless Waverly-Oakleigh Panthers.
The Panthers will still be reeling from their agonizing 16-22 defeat last week to Sunbury but will have to move on quickly if they are to be competitive against Altona.
The Panthers will have to be wary of youngster Zev John who has started the season in blistering form. John has scored multiple tries in every game he’s played this year and was included in the 33-man Victorian squad as reward.
Undefeated duo Werribee and Casey have the byes this weekend and Ed Simamao made the unsurprising call during the week that they remain the teams to beat.
In a fascinating insight the Thunder coach told NRL Victoria that those two teams were the envy of the league.
“They are where we want to be, we base our training around them.” he revealed
“They are the Melbourne Storm of our league”.
Thunder by 18
Doveton by 4
Roosters by 18