Ponting calls on Roos teammates to step up

LEADING THE WAY: Kangaroos veteran Damien Ponting trying to shrug off Coleambally’s Mitch Carroll in round two at Temora. Picture: Les SmithRecent history is on Temora’s side at home against The Rock-Yerong Creek, but veteran Damien Ponting warns that onlyhard work will get them out of a slump.
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Pontingsays it’s time for thenext generation of players to take responsibility if the Kangaroos are to avoid their fifth consecutive loss this year when they host the defending premierson Saturday.

Afterheavy defeats to North Wagga and East Wagga-Kooringal, the injury-hitRoosface a huge task to turn their fortunes around against the Magpies.

Ponting says they need to show what they’re made of.

“We’re at a stage in the club now where (captain) Chris McAuley has had to retire,” Ponting said.

“I could have a couple of years left in me orI could have a bad injury which finishes off my career –hopefully not butyou really need local blokes who are going to be around for a while, we need them stepping up to the challenge and start taking on some roles in the club.”

TRYC haven’t won at Nixon Parksince early in 2011.

Thelosing streak began within anupset later that year, despite Temora missing the finals and the Magpies being bound for a flag.

”The last game of the year, we beat The Rock(in Temora) andI reckon that fired a few blokes up for the next season then, thinking that The Rock went all the way that year,” Ponting recalled.

Temora won the first of three straight premierships the following year and still haven’t dropped a home game against the Pies since.

But with significant changes in personnel since,the Kangaroos are in a transition phase and injuries have exposed a lack of depth.

Ponting says it’s a reminder that success isbuilt on leadership and hard work.

“If you’ve got half of the players on the field wanting to be leaders, it’s hard to beat,” he said.

“I think sometimes people are happy just to have a game of footy and the end result doesn’t really faze them too much.

“Being here for 13 years and having eight or nine years of no success here and then getting a grand final, you treasure it a fair bit.

“Some blokes camein their first season and played in a premiership with us.

“A lot of blokes probably got it easy and think,‘that’s how it happens’ but it doesn’t happen like that.”

It will also bea big day off the field for the Kangaroos with the club hosting a Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, raisingfunds for the local branch of Can Assist.

TRYC head to Temora aftertheir first loss of the season with co-coachAndrew Clarke admitting they had their “pants pulled down in every facet of the game” by Coleambally last week.

They haven’t hit the panic buttonnaming the same side, with Justin Driscoll to make his return from a hamstring strain in reserve grade.

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