THE Scone Brumbies will travel to Narrabri today for a first ever taste of Central North finals football.
The team joined the competition in 2008 and had a tough time competing in the first few years according to coach Duncan Pinfold.
“Some clubs were against us joining the competition and we weren’t very welcome because of distance, competitiveness and other factors,” Pinfold said.
“Narrabri was one of those clubs so it is nice to be playing them in the semi, and it would be even nicer to put one over them.”
The Hunter side’s best finish before this year was sixth, after finishing at the wrong end of the table for a few consecutive years.
The coach puts the new found success down to the team all being good mates with a good attitude around the club.
“The boys are really close, we all are. They are a good bunch of blokes that always hang around each other outside of football, and that reflects in the game,” Pinfold said.
“We have also been very lucky with injuries, playing a semi at 100 per cent strength is a minor miracle these days.”
Not having any finals experience is no concern for the coach who believes the team is ready to step up.
“Dale Robinson has played finals before in Mackay, and Michael Ruthven played Shute Shield for Warringah as well as Australian U19s, so there are some voices of experience in the squad that are helping to keep focus,” Pinfold said.
The last time Scone went to Narrabri was back in round four, when the Blue Boars put them to the sword to beat them 49-11 after the Brumbies showed discipline meltdowns and had two players binned.
The next time the two sides met was in round 13, where Scone scored 12 unanswered second half points for a 20 all draw, in the game that essentially secured them a finals berth.
“A loss, then a draw, now all we need is a win,” Pinfold said.
“Our discipline is a lot better, and we have been working on our set pieces and game plan all year, now it comes down to attitude and focus.
“We are confident of beating anyone on our day, we’ve just got to make sure Saturday is our day.”
The first grade fixture kicks-off at 3pm.
Preceeding that, Gunnedah will be hoping to keep their second grade title defence alive when it tackle Pirates, and Narrabri matches up against Inverell in the U18s.