SEA Eagles coach Geoff Toovey has revealed his plan of attack will revolve around defence during the inaugural Auckland Nines this weekend.
The 16 NRL clubs are entering unchartered territory in the tournament which carries prize money of $2.25 million.
But Toovey has been doing his homework in the lead-up to the kick-off.
“Nines is very attack oriented football, it is very hard to defend a full field with nine players.
“So if you can defend and hold the opposition out for a couple of sets it puts you in good stead because you know you are going to score at some stage.”
Toovey picked up some tips from his assistant coach Steve Georgallis who was involved in a nines tournament out west a couple of weeks ago.
“He said it was not a game for big men in the middle so it is still more like sevens than it is 13s,” Toovey said.
There are number of up and comers in the Sea Eagles squad who could prove ideally suited to the nines concept.
“Jesse Sene-Lefao is a good tall rangy player and Tony Satinu is a quick young fellow and then there are big mobile guys like Cheyse Blair,” Toovey said.
Satini is an outside back recruited from Penrith and Blair is a winger who has arrived from Parramatta.
Scene-Lefao is a big 24-year-old secondrower who is looking to make up for lost time after bad run with injuries in 2013.
“It’s a matter of when those opportunities arise, what you do with those opportunities,” Toovey said.
“And this is a good opportunity to show their wares.”
And Toovey is looking forward to being involved in rugby league’s newest concept.
“This is the teething year for it, but it is exciting, I think it will be a great spectacle,” he said.
“And the fans will love it and I believe it is nearly a sell out.
“Again the proof will be in the pudding when it is finished.”