West Coast Pirates coach Daniel Manning insists his young side are remaining upbeat ahead of their SG Ball Round Six fixture at home to the Illawarra Steelers on Saturday.
The Pirates dropped to 0-5 on the season after last weekend’s 52-12 loss against the North Sydney Bears, but Manning says his team must keep their chins up.
“We’ve just got to stay positive,” Manning said.
“We can’t let one bad thing ruin the routine we’re trying to make.”
After last weekend’s loss in Sydney, Manning said the team had a heart-to-heart discussion about their goals for the rest of the season.
“After training this week, everyone had their say about what we need to change,” Manning said.
“Their dream is to win a game this season. Now we’ve got to go forward and hopefully get that win.”
It won’t get any easier for the Pirates this weekend, however, as they host the in-form Illawarra Steelers.
The Steelers have won their last two games and sit fifth on the ladder.
“[We’re expecting] an up-tempo kind of game,” Manning said.
“They’re really good on the edge. We’ve got to tighten up and make sure we have nice line speed.”
In team news, Manning will hand Damien Karini a first career start after the forward impressed on debut against the Bears following his call up from John Moore Shield.
Manning says Karini’s call-up to the starting line-up should be an inspiration to those playing in the John Moore Shield.
“If you have a great game in John Moore Shield we will approach you and ask you to come to [Pirates] training,” Manning said.
“Damien got his job done. I threw him in the deep end, and he did the job.”
In other news, centres Porikapa Tukaki (shoulder) and Artilla Packer (wrist) drop out through injury and will be replaced by Ricardo Ellison and Tuakana Hepi.
The game kicks off at 10.30am and will be played at Charles Riley Reserve in North Beach.