By Geoff Newling
SINGLETON Greyhounds are preparing for one of their biggest games of the season after overcoming Muswellbrook Rams in Muswellbrook on Sunday.
The Greyhounds host Denman Devils, who were unbeaten until Sunday's 30-12 home loss to Aberdeen Tigers, at ResCo Park this Sunday.
And the Greyhounds are starting to find their best form at the right time of the year although coach Mark Newman is concerned about their inconsistency.
"When we are good we are very good, when we are bad we are poor," Newman said after Sunday's 42-18 win over Muswellbrook.
The Greyhounds led 16-nil after a near perfect first 20 minutes but then fell off as Muswellbrook hit back to tie the game up at 16-all at half-time and then take an 18-16 lead early in the second half.
The Greyhounds recovered off a Rams mistake to spark a second-half finish that took the reigning premiers to outright third on the table, three points adrift of competition leading Denman.
"And Denman have a tough draw too," Newman said.
"They play us at Singleton this Sunday, have a Friday night catch-up game against Aberdeen and then play again on the Sunday against Greta.
"They had the chance to play one of the deferred games on the long weekend but didn't take it and they might pay for it."
Singleton and Aberdeen possess two of the toughest packs of forwards around and Newman is hoping his pack can dish up a tough day for the Devils when they come calling on Sunday.
The return of Russell Richards has been a major boost for the Greyhounds and last year's successful captain-coach is creating plenty of chances for the Greyhounds. He was one of their stars in Sunday's win at Muswellbrook.
Greta Branxton are also running into some form too, coach Chris Brennan said after their 34-14 win over Scone at Scone Park on Sunday. They sit just a point behind Singleton with a home game against Muswellbrook this Sunday.
The form team of the competition is Aberdeen though.
Their 30-12 win over Denman not only ended Denman's unbeaten season but gave the Tigers their sixth successive win.
It could have been better for the Mark Wilton-coached Tigers too.
"We lost two points for a player qualification breach," Wilton said.
"Otherwise we'd be just the point behind Denman. At the same time though, if we'd had lost to Denman we could have slipped to fourth. That's how close it is down here. We've got Scone this Saturday (at home) and that will be tough before we play Denman the following Friday night."
G4 FIRST GRADE: Denman 14, Aberdeen 12, Singleton 11, Greta Branxton 9, Muswellbrook 8, Scone 6. CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: Singleton 47.5, Denman 43, Aberdeen 33, Scone 30.5, Muswellbrook 27.5, Greta Branxton 21.5, Merriwa 14.