Sea Eagles forced to find cover
THESunshine Coast Sea Eagles will be forced to confront Souths Logan without gun three-quarter Filinga Filiga, who has succumbed to a lingering ankle injury.
It has hindered him since the side's trial loss to New Zealand's NRL outfit, the Warriors, last month.
Filiga, the only remaining member of the Sea Eagles squad that won the 2009 state league grand final, is expected to be sidelined for at least a week.
Coach Dave Cordwell said yesterday: "They've got to re-look at his scans and try and pinpoint it a little more. They're only saying it is a sprain at this stage, but they've got to look at it again."
Filiga will be replaced on the wing by Kristian Freed for Sunday's Intrust Super Cup encounter at Stockland Park.
"Freedy played a number of games last year and was 18th man last weekend. Now he gets his shot," Cordwell said.
Zac Litherland, an impresse performer in all three pre-season trials, is also expected to make his first appearance for the year, replacing James Boyce on the bench.
Cordwell said his team was intent on bouncing back from its season-opening loss to Central Comets in Rockhampton last Sunday, when it led 10-0 before fading in the heat to lose 40-22.
The new coach said he had erred in his preparation for the game, suggesting he should have readied his charges for the challenging hot conditions.
"I probably should have got them acclimatised by giving them a good run during the day before the game," he said.
Cordwell said his troops were not completely focused and believed they needed to become more accustomed to playing away from home.
"The hospitality is great (when you travel), but it becomes hostile as soon as you pull on that jersey and run out," he said.
"We've just got to learn to shut that out ... you can lose your thought process and go away from the things you need to do well before it is too late."