Two weeks is a long time in rugby league.
For Kurri Kurri Bulldogs coach George Ndaira, it must have seemed like an eternity.
Kurri return to action on Sunday against the Port Stephens Sharks after having a week off following their 41-4 drubbing to coalfields rivals Cessnock in round 15 of the Newcastle Rugby League competition.
And while Ndaira said his team needed a break, the Bulldogs have waited two weeks to bounce back from their heavy defeat to Cessnock.
“The boys should be fresh and ready to go,” Ndaira said.
“We definitely needed a bit of a break, a bit of time to get away.
“It’s been good this week because we’ve been able to refocus.”
With only three games to go before the semi finals Ndaira knows his team need a quality
performance against a winless Port Stephens team.
“There’s three weeks to go now and then semis hopefully, so the break hasn’t come at a bad time for us,” Ndaira said.
“We probably welcome it, now we’ve freshened up and can go again on the weekend.”
Inspirational captain Jesse Royal is still out with an ankle problem suffered while on representative duty with Newcastle but Ndaira is hopeful the former NRL prop will be good to go before the finals.
“He definitely won’t be back this week, we’re hoping maybe the semis or the last round,” Ndaira said.
Kurri ran out 58-20 winners when the two teams met back in round 10 and sit in fifth spot on the table with 18 points, level with fourth placed Maitland.
The Bulldogs are three points clear of sixth placed South Newcastle and a win on Sunday would all but guarantee finals football.