Yates not taking Hawks midfield lightly

GOOD MATES: Tom Yates (left) returned to The Rock-Yerong Creek this season with former Albury Tigers team mates Andy Carey and Casey Hillary.

GOOD MATES: Tom Yates (left) returned to The Rock-Yerong Creek this season with former Albury Tigers team mates Andy Carey and Casey Hillary.

THE Rock-Yerong Creek gun midfielder Tom Yates will not be taking East Wagga-Kooringal lightly in Saturday’s second semi-final at Robertson Oval.

It might seem silly considering the Hawks are undefeated, but the minor premiers appear to be slightly vulnerable for the first time without classy midfielders Ben Absolum and Stu Brierty.

Asked if there is a slight opening for the Magpies, Yates does not think so.

“Not really, they’ve got some quality players all over the ground and also have a fair bit of depth at the club,” Yates said.

“I just think whoever they play in there, they’ve got plenty of quality and enough depth to fill those spots.”

TRYC has fallen short on both occasions against the Hawks this year.

They lost the first game, a shootout at Gumly Oval, by 17 points and then closed desperately late to go down by five points at Victoria Park.

Yates believes the Magpies are good enough, just need to work hard and enjoy some luck.

“Maybe just a few things to go our way at certain times,” he said.

“Last time we were a little unlucky, we had a really good shot on goal and the ball bounced the other way and it would have put us in front with a minute to go.

“That and we just need to knuckle down and try to get the job done.”

Yates, a Magpies junior, has moved back to the family farm this year and is just five minutes from The Rock.

After another stint at Albury Tigers last year, Yates is enjoying being back at TRYC.

“It’s good, I’m back on the farm now and it’s just five minutes down the road,” he said.

“It’s a good club, I’m really enjoying it.”