Wolves coach Matt Mason eyes more even contribution
By Tate Spiteri
The North West Wolves have endured a horror start to their 2017 season losing their opening 4 games by an average of 54 points.
The Wolves who are not without front line talent as evident by the inclusion of 5 players in the 33-man VRL squad seriously lack depth and have struggled to compete at times this season.
Wolves coach Matthew Mason who this week also expects the team to add a 6th VRL standard player in Italian squad member Marco Muscatello, said the bottom tier players at the club need to step up.
“Not always in terms of skill but energy and attitude towards training and games as well as just having that basic Rugby League mind” he said.
The club has recruited reasonably well with the inclusion of Muscatello and the clubs early season standout Ethan Chatto who was signed from Sydney.
But a sheer lack of numbers has been the clubs biggest obstacle.
“Obviously it’s been a tough start to the year but the mood is pretty good and everyone understands where we’re at” he said
“It’s a luxury that we’re able to play Rugby League but family and working to put a roof over their head always comes first” he added.
As for the Wolves players who do take the field this weekend they are unlikely to get a reprieve from their early season struggles when they host the in form Werribee.
The reigning premiers are fresh off a bye and before that a 20-point victory over the impressive Altona that sent a message to the league that they remained the competitions benchmark.
But the Wolves’ goals for the weekend are realistic to the challenge ahead.
“We just want to improve on last year, our defence on the try line that game was probably the best it was all year, some unlucky calls probably made the score worse than it should have been” he said.
“I’ll be happy if we can get our attack set right and the boys complete all our sets”
“Getting to the kick I think is something every team would try for” he added.
The debut of Italian Rugby League squad member Marco Muscatello should bolster the club and add some excitement amongst the group.
Muscatello has had previous stints in both Western Australia and New South Wales but is new to the Victorian Rugby League.
“He has previously played for Italy and was down at our game last week and is going to start this weekend” Mason explained.
The Wolves coach will be hoping the new recruit can have a similar impact to Sydney recruit Ethan Chatto who he nominated as the clubs standout so far this year.
“He provides really good talk for the team on the field and has great work rate”
“Including Marco we have probably 6 VRL players but its up to the rest to step up to their level”
The Wolves/Bears match kicks off at 3.30pm at AJ Davis Reserve