Warners Bay will be looking to put a difficult fortnight behind them when they return to the Black Diamond Cup field on Saturday and host neighbouring rivals Cardiff at Feighan Oval.
This followed Warners Bay full forward Jake Roach being cleared of striking at an AFL NSW-ACT tribunal. The Bulldogs and first-round opponents Singleton each cited a player with the Roosters' Kurtis Olsen also let off a misconduct charge.
Warners Bay coach Nathan Harkness said he hoped his squad, who lost by eight points on July 18, could now kick-start their 2020 campaign when they tackle the Hawks.
"We've got a big challenge ahead of us tomorrow [Saturday]," Harkness said.
"They [Cardiff] are a quality side and we haven't beaten them for a few years now.
"We've just got to worry about the four points on offer, not the history or the rivalry or anything else that's been going on.
"We're going to have to play better than we did against Singleton and hopefully we can get our season started."
Harkness said no date has been locked in for the Bulldogs' delayed fixture with Nelson Bay and he's concerned about potentially being required to play "three times in the space of week" later this season.
Cardiff welcome back Jack Pratt and Pat Delaney but player-coach Nic Tomlinson remains another week away.
Elsewhere in round three and former AFL premiership winner Craig Bird takes over as player-coach of Nelson Bay with mentor Nic Griffith (family commitments) returning to Western Australia indefinitely. Chris Eddy and Aaron Crouch will now co-captain the Marlins, who have Maitland visiting Dick Burwell Oval, while 2016 Elliott Davey Medal recipient Jayden Rymer bolsters the squad.
City have Fraser Carroll, Charlie Kelleher and Jarrod Anderson all making their first-grade debuts against Singleton at No.1 Sportsground. Terrigal Avoca and Killarney Vale are home to Gosford and Wyong Lakes respectively.
In the women's competition City host Maitland in a grand-final replay, Nelson Bay-Port Stephens and Warners bay return to the fold against Terrigal Avoca and Cardiff respectively while Killarney Vale meets Wyong Lakes.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN OTHER NEWS
- NRL: Knights coach says players 'fighting for their footy lives' against Storm
- A-League: Jets veteran Topor-Stanley on track for ironman campaign ... again
- Basketball: How Wilt Chamberlain inspired Butch Hays to help form Karuah Kinnections
- Racing: Louise Day aims for Sydney apprenticeship title after flying finish to 2019-20
- Ice Hockey: Newcastle Northstars return to the rink but national season cancelled