He was known as one of the most electrifying players of his era but Nathan Blacklock has revealed an old school defensive strategy will be the key in the NSW Koori against Queensland Murri Under-16s match on Saturday.
Coached by Ron Gibbs, the Koori side will be out to avenge their heartbreaking 36-26 defeat in 2018 after coming into camp on Tuesday.
And while they boast plenty of attacking flair, it’s the defensive trick Blacklock learned under former Dragons coach David Waite which he believes will be crucial in their effort to bringing the Steve 'Bear' Hall Shield home.
“It was about pushing up on both sides because sometimes when a side shifts to the left from dummy half, the other right-hand side just hold back and watch,” Blacklock told NSWRL.com.au.
“What we found (when I was playing) was that we weren’t pushing up and it left a big gap when we were watching on the video so they came up with a rope (we couldn't touch) so we had to push up on every play.
“It’s like an old school technique for the new age game so it simplifies what these guys are trying to go instead of getting really technical so it’s just walking around with the rope and if you touch it you give away a penalty.”
Blacklock enjoyed a successful Rugby League career that spanned across 142 first-grade games with 121 tries to his name.
He built a reputation for having an uncanny knack to find the try-line and was a speedster in the true sense of the word.
But he believes building a strong-willed defensive approach will be just as important as their efforts with the football.
"You can score tries but it’s about stopping them and not giving them an opportunity to find an opening in your defence," he said.
"If these guys push across they rely on you to come across and cover so it all about that trust.
"If one person makes a mistake the team suffers."
The annual fixture is set to be played at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee this Saturday, with the match to be live streamed on NSWRL Facebook page from 5.20pm AEST.