Blues' mettle to be tested in tough road trip

Launceston coach Scott Stephens says he wants to see how his side responds to the challenge of playing Clarence at Bellerive.

Launceston coach Scott Stephens says he wants to see how his side responds to the challenge of playing Clarence at Bellerive.

LAUNCESTON faces a tough road trip South to play ladder-leader Clarence at Bellerive Oval after managing just one goal for the game against Lauderdale last week.

And it will make the trip without three key players with Beau Green, Gary Shipton and Brennan Savage missing from the line-up.

"It's probably the toughest road trip South of Oatlands but I'm looking forward to seeing how the young boys respond to the challenge," Launceston coach Scott Stephens said.

"It looks like we will play the top three sides in successive weeks and that should give us a gauge of where we are at four or five weeks into the season."

Stephens said their review of the Lauderdale game had not included watching vision of the match.

"We just had a chat about what is required at this level.

"It was really just to hit home that the boys needed to be training harder and striving to improve week in and week out.

"Just little things about concentration and staying involved in the game even when they are not directly involved and hopefully the boys can respond and be quite competitive on the weekend."

Stephens said the morale and attitude of the players continued to be good.

"It took a bit of a knock last Saturday - don't get me wrong.

"But once the weekend was over and we analysed where we went wrong we have to move on and we need to get the boys back up and ready to go into battle again this weekend."

The Blues regained Joe Krushka and added Eric Izbiki, Zac Oldenhof, Brayden Pitcher, Hamish Leedham and James Griffiths to an extended interchange bench.

CLARENCE coach Matthew Drury was happy with his side's winning performance against North Launceston last week and especially its second half.

The Roos remain the only unbeaten side in the competition and Drury said they would not be taking Launceston lightly.

"The two last games they've played they have probably turned the footy over a bit more than they would have liked to and the opposition has hurt them on the scoreboard a bit," he said.

"But from all reports they have been very competitive at the contest and they run and spread well so I'm still expecting a good game.

"The conditions are looking pretty average down here for the weekend so it will probably be a very contested style of game and wet weather footy."

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