ARMIDALE can book a place in the Group 19 finals series today and also seal the fate of the Moree Boomerangs if it can beat Glen Innes at Mead Park.
But such a feat is easier said than done, especially with Glen chasing a place in the top two.
“It’s a massive challenge,” Rams co-coach Brian Dennison said.
“They’re a really fit team and they play at a fast pace.
“They have a lot of guys who can score from anywhere on the field.
“They’re also physically strong and it shows in their defence.”
With the likes of Jeff Moate, Adam Shaw and Mone Loketi in the pack, the Magpies have plenty of muscle.
But they are also one of the fittest sides and players like Jamie Watts and Sam Key thrive on the platform the big men set.
“It’s hard to stop their go forward,” Dennison said.
“In other games I’ve seen them play they get on a roll because they’re physically
“They have some big boys and because they’re fit they get the play-the-balls going really quickly.
“So they’re either getting penalties or they’re breaking the line because the other side isn’t set.”
Glen also has plenty to play for. It is sitting in second, but only on percentages from Inverell.
That means the Magpies need to win today and against leaders Guyra next week to make the major semi-final.
Armidale’s scenario is that it must win today, otherwise it is relying on Tingha to beat the Moree Boomerangs next week.
A win today will seal fourth but a loss could hand it to the Boomies.
“Tingha are really struggling for numbers,” Dennison said.
“We played a side last week that had six players playing both games.
“I can’t see them winning at Moree next week.”
Making things more difficult for the Rams is the injury toll out of last week’s win over
Ronald Dennison has broken his arm and Will Whale has a rib injury.
That means Brian Dennison will partner Clarrie Moran in the halves.
The good news is that Paul Quinlan is back and he will slot into the centres, forcing Mona Masters to the wing.
Guyra makes the short drive across the shire to Tingha in the other game.
The Spuds can seal the minor premiership if they win.