St George Illawarra Dragons prop Mike Cooper is expecting a battle of the forward packs coming up against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Friday.
The England international will pair-up with teammate Russell Packer in the starting pack for what he believes will be a physical encounter against the opposition’s ‘big bodies’.
The Red-and-Whites will be without the services of Samoa international Leeson Ah Mau for the fixture following his three-game suspension but notes this setback will not deter the team from trying to return to winning ways.
“They do have a big forward pack but ours are going pretty decently as well at the minute,” said Cooper.
“We’ll focus on ourselves trying to hold the ball for as long as possible going up against those big bodies.
“We’ve lacked a bit in execution but we’ve won every start in a game and we haven’t had problems making metres or with missed tackles.
“There’s been a couple of times where we’ve had execution issues and I think that has come from trying to play a bit too hard more than lack of effort or being disappointed.
“Disappointed is not a word that we’re looking at here at the Club as everyone has put in a lot of effort and unfortunately at the minute the passes are not sticking for us.
“We’ve created enough opportunities to score but we’re not finishing them off but no one is disappointed with our effort here.”