Dan Overeem has had his eye in for the Roos this season and will be looking to find the sticks against the Nomads today. Photo: Gareth Gardner 300416GGE07

THE Tamworth Kangaroos will be out to avenge last year’s TAFL grand final loss this afternoon when they host three time premiers New England Nomads at No. 1 Oval.

The Nomads have been a cut above the pack over that time, although Roos coach Tony Bishop believes that the Roos have a big opportunity to turn the tables today and set their season up.

“We have beaten the Nomads three times in four years but just can’t do it when it counts,” Bishop said.

Last season the Roos were the only side to beat them, and that was in round one, although after getting on top of the premiers for a good part of last year’s grand final has given fresh hope to the Roos, despite a slow pre-season.

“We had an ordinary pre-season and will take a while to hit our straps,” Bishop said.

“This game is an opportunity to make amends and get right back in the competition.”

It has been a tough start to the season for the Roos in a competition of have and have nots, with a first round loss to Inverell followed by three hundred plus point wins and a very close win over Gunnedah with no bench.

Following this game the Roos have a bye before heading back to Inverell, and the coach knows that two losses in that time could end any hope of finishing in the top two come September.

“The Nomads play a speedy game while we naturally play a more physical style.”

“When we control their talls like Zac Economou and players like Dave Richards we can compete but when we don’t we struggle to counter-act what those players can do.”

“We have a good scoring ability and the two midfields are probably the best in the comp and cancel each other out.”

“I don’t really have a big strategy, it is just harass, put pressure and numbers on the ball and force turnovers.”

The Roos are benefiting from the return of Ben Mitchell, who has been getting better with every game, as well as captain Dan Johnson, with Bishop looking to these two to lead the charge.

Vice captain Brad Rees will be given until game time to prove his fitness after suffering a back injury, and would be a big boost to the defensive unit while Dan Overeem and Brad Hodge have been showing form up front and will have to be on target to beat the Nomads’ stiff defence.

“Brock Quinn, Daniel Leon and Dean Hoy have been carrying the side a bit from the mid field,” Bishop said. “We can’t afford for that to happen against the Nomads – everyone has to play well.”

“We need to keep the intensity up and play our best all game if we want to win.”

The other matches in this round will see the Tamworth Swans searching for their first win of the season with a trip to Moree, while Gunnedah and Narrabri will play the Namoi derby at Wolseley Park.

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