NSW CAS: Consistency key for Barker side searching for back to back CAS titles

Barker coach Dean Hargreaves believe his side can claim back to back CAS titles if they can continue to produce the consistent performances that have led them to the top of the CAS competition ladder.

The defending premiers are undefeated heading into the final two rounds of the competition but face powerhouses Waverley and Knox in the coming fortnight.

“We’ve been really happy with our progress so far. We’ve played some good football to get those three wins and I couldn’t have asked for much more,” the coach told Rugby News.

“We’ve played consistent, positive rugby for 70 minutes each week and maintained high standards until that final whistle.

“There are always going to be rough spots in games, but we’ve managed to work our way through them which has been pleasing and I think the boys are still improving and understanding their roles better each week.”

Barker are the only side yet to lose a competition game in 2019. Knox are second following their shock loss to Cranbrook, while Waverley, Cranbrook, Trinity and Aloys all have one win to their names.

“The other sides have all played really good rugby at times but a few of them have probably been guilty of a drop of performance at different stages,” Hargreaves said.

“As we said at the start of the year, anyone is capable of beating anyone if you’re not on your game in this competition and that’s proven to be true.”

Barker host a Waverley side on Saturday who claimed their first win of the season over Cranbrook in the Eastern Suburbs derby in round three.

“They’ve got nothing to lose really and they’ll come up to Barker this weekend looking for a win to resurrect their season. We’re expecting a massive game from them and they’ve got a lot of talent across the park.

“A 70 minute performance is going to be really important, they’ll be very keen for a big performance. We’ll need to be solid defensively and stop their line breaks and offloads.”

If Barker do win, they’ll set up a final round showdown against rivals Knox. A win in that match will see Barker claim the outright premiership, while a loss will force the two schools to share the title.

Hargreaves said his side isn’t looking that far ahead but admitted the players that have returned from last year will help his team in the coming weeks.

“I think it’ll help but Waverley and Knox are the same, they’ve got quite a few boys back from last year.

“We need those guys to have a steadying impact on the team so that we don’t get carried away. At the end of the day, they are just games of footy and if we can go out there and do what we’ve done in the first three rounds, we’ll put ourselves in a pretty good position.”

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