The Waves to prepare for Magpie test

Waves captain Reece Maughan will be looking for a big game on the weekend. 232701 Pictures: SHANE JONES

By Shane Jones

If there is one person who knows how Easts could play this season – it is The Waves coach Antonio Kaufusi.

And he’s hoping to shut them down tomorrow.

The Waves will take on Easts tomorrow in the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade at Salter Oval after mixed first rounds.

The Tigers lost to Hervey Bay in the last 30 seconds of the game, losing 23-22, as Easts won 52-32 against the Wallaroos.

Easts were the most impressive team of the weekend while The Waves were unlucky not to win after storming home, from 22-12 down, to level late.

“To me I thought we had the chances to win the game,” Kaufusi said.

“But we bombed about four tries and lost the momentum in the contest.

“We’ll trouble a lot of teams though but I’ve got to be patient with the boys, we’ve got a new group.”

Kaufusi admitted he does have some issues with his halves pairing at the moment.

He doesn’t have specialist ones at the moment but they will be coming in the next few weeks.

For now Tukerekere Hikaka is playing at seven.

“I thought he was our best half,” Kaufusi said.

“We don’t have specialist halves, which is kind of cruel, we’ve got to deal with what I’ve got.”

Kaufusi is confident the players can deal with it and take it to Easts this weekend.

And the coach knows most of the players.

Almost half of the 13 that started have previously played with Kaufusi at The Waves.

This includes Clinton Horne, Billy-James Stefaniuk, Tien Nguyen, Tyrell Howard and Trent Seeds.

Kaufusi said the focus would be on trying to stop their attack while capitalising on their defence, which leaked 32 points in round one.

“I was fortunate enough to stay back and watch them in round one, they’ve got an awesome team with individuals all around the park,” he said.

“We’ve got to grind, force them back.

“Points are there to score against Easts for us we just got to stay in the contest.

“We don’t have flashy players but are happy to go into a dog fight against them.”

The game starts at 5pm with Hervey Bay to take on Past Brothers in the other clash at the same time in Stafford Park.

The other game see Western Suburbs take on the Wallaroos at 3pm at Salter Oval as the Panthers look to win its second game in a row.

In reserves, The Waves play Easts at midday at Salter Oval with Wests to take on the Wallaroos at 1.30pm.

Hervey Bay takes on Past Brothers at 3pm at Stafford Park.