TAMWORTH Kangaroos and Muswellbrook Cats play an “expansive” do or die minor semi-final at Tamworth’s No. 1 Oval today.
The knockout semi promises a good spectacle because both teams like to play expansive games through the midfield and deliver long balls to the forwards.
Roos coach Brett Douglas is confident of a victory based on form, but knows anything can happen in finals footy.
“They haven’t beaten us all year, and possibly even for a while before that,” Douglas said.
“We can’t be complacent though, they have some pretty handy players, especially through the middle.”
The Roos have struggled with numbers at times during the season and this week will be no different, although they should field a full side with a bench.
“Most of the core playing group will be there, although there are a few missing for different reasons,” Douglas said.
The coach said sometimes the lack of numbers have worked as a motivator for the side.
“If the boys look up and see an empty bench they know they have to do it themselves.”
The Roos will be looking towards star player and captain Matthew Hodge to continue his stellar season and lead the side to victory.
Hodge recently won best and fairest in the competition at the presentation night, as well as having the goal scorers award wrapped up with four rounds to go.
Luke Robinson, Daniel Gimbert, and Alex Hudson have also been earmarked by the coach to have big games and deliver the ball to the likes of Hodge up front.
Douglas also mentioned that in the event of rain, which is forecast, the team boasts some mud larks that revel in the miserable conditions, none more so than Brad Rees.
“We have had a few wet games and it can make the game scrappy, although Rees and a few others thrive in the mud,” Douglas said.
Douglas has targeted the cats big ruckman as the main distributor on the field, who delivers good ball to the forwards.
“If we can cut the time down and put pressure on in the middle and slow the support play we will go a long way towards winning it,” Douglas said.
The major semi is also being played today in Armidale between the Nomads and the Saints.