Travelling Launceston City faces toughest test yet against Olympia Warriors

DEAD HEAT: Ranger Nick Lanau-Atkinson and City's Tyler Fischer go head-to-head in the derby. Picture: Paul Scambler
DEAD HEAT: Ranger Nick Lanau-Atkinson and City's Tyler Fischer go head-to-head in the derby. Picture: Paul Scambler

Northern Rangers coach Lino Sciulli is warning his team against complacency when it hosts a pointless Clarence United on Saturday.

Three tough assignments on the road has yielded Rangers just a draw last start against Launceston City.

But Sciulli said the club’s most recent NPL past should ensure that three three points are not taken for granted.

“I hope we wouldn’t be complacent,” Sciulli said.

“Last year we had a tough year; the year before was even tougher.

“If they go back into those sort of scenarios, then they really haven’t got the right mindset. I really shouldn’t have to address it.”

Their Hobart rivals are the only side to start the year with three losses while also conceding 15 goals.

But the coach is quick not underestimate the visitors in the Rangers’ first home game of the season.

“Clarence do try and play, so they’re going to be a tough opposition,” Sciulli said.

“I noticed in other footage they move the ball around quite quickly as well.

“If we’re not on our game, we’ll be on the end of it.”

CONTEST: City's Liam Scott and Ranger Daniel Cristy clash on Saturday. Picture: Paul Scambler

CONTEST: City's Liam Scott and Ranger Daniel Cristy clash on Saturday. Picture: Paul Scambler

The club walked away with their first points against their crosstown rivals just five days ago. But its the two initial losses that have emboldened the players’ strong resolve. 

“They were up and about on Tuesday, which was really pleasant to see,” Sciulli said.

“But Saturday, after the game, they were pretty disappointed – they just drew a game they could have won.

“So that was was expected. It was a good to see.”

City are still smarting after ending its early three-game winning streak that includes the Lakoseljac Cup opener.

Coach Jez Kenth is roused his squad learned a valuable lesson in the 1-1 result.

The Devils were forced to come back from one goal down and one man down inside the final 10 minutes.

“They are starting get used to the high intensity that is required,” Kenth added.

“They’re not full ready for the NPL per se, but the experience will go a long way.

“It took them a while to settle down against Rangers, but once they realise they can compete to some extent they got back into the game.”

It’s that sort of fight Kenth wants to play out on Sunday.

City faces its first litmus test of the season away to Olympia Warriors.

RACE ALONG: City's Jarrod Linger and Ranger Jesse Fulton in pursuit. Picture: Paul Scambler

RACE ALONG: City's Jarrod Linger and Ranger Jesse Fulton in pursuit. Picture: Paul Scambler

“Olympia are a formidable team – they have proven that they are more than a solid team,” Kenth said.

“They are going to take a lot of beating, they’re very settled, they started training early, they have been around for awhile and they knew each other’s game.”

But Kenth fears niggling injuries are affecting the side’s preparation and balance.

“We’re having the same issue this week – we still have a couple of potentially big outs,” Kenth said prior to team selection on Thursday.

“That makes it a bit hard for us because we really don’t bat that deep.”