Disciplined start may be the key for Storm

Western Storm coach Mitch Hills has called on his players for a better start this week against Launceston.
Western Storm coach Mitch Hills has called on his players for a better start this week against Launceston.

WESTERN Storm coach Mitch Hills wants a better start from his team this week and a victory over Launceston.

Hills knows how important a first-up win over one of the club's cross-town rivals would be.

He expects his players to be more settled in their approach to today's game compared with the season debut against Devonport last week.

"We play Launceston three times and you have to be the top Lonnie team if you want to be in the top few at the end of the year," Hills said.

"Last week a few of our guys were a bit overenthusiastic to start the game and by the time of the actual game were a bit flat and overawed by the whole occasion.

"They went away from our game plan and our structures that we have in place, and that allowed Devonport to be in the game at half-time.

"We rectified that at half-time - our game plan and structures work and are there for a reason, and we were able to pull away and have a pretty strong outing for our first time."

Hills said he had a few sore players but expected a similar line-up to the one that beat Devonport, with recruit Shaun Collis coming into the side for his first game in the forward line.

"A couple in our forward structure went well last week but we're looking for as bit more output up there and hopefully we can get that this week.

"Launceston have lost a lot of experience but they have some good young talent coming through who played senior footy last year.

"They will be well-coached and well-drilled and I'm sure will have a plan in place to try to nullify some of our better players.

"But I think that with our experience across the park and if we stick to what we want to do - probably a role reversal from previous years - hopefully we can execute what we want to do and it should be enough."

Launceston coach Scott Stephens was looking forward to putting a hard preseason behind the side and getting started in the hunt for premiership points.

"We've probably got 1000 games of experience between four of us and about 400 between the rest," he said.

"But with youth comes energy and excitement and opportunity, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the boys cut their teeth at senior level."

Stephens said he had been impressed with the preseason efforts of Joe Boyce, who has been appointed co-captain with Brennan Savage, and with Sam Rundle, Jake Smith, Tom Cleary and Rohan Sergeant.


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