DANIEL Ritter and his Thoroughbreds arrive at Greta Oval tomorrow confident of kicking the minor premier Greta Branxton Colts out of Thiess Services A Plus Contracting Group 21 premiership contention in the preliminary final.
They’ve already consigned reigning premiers Singleton Greyhounds to the dogheap and have had plenty of success against the Colts so far this season.
“We’ve beaten them twice,” Ritter said.
“They knocked us off the last time we played but it was by a try.
“We’ve been close all season,” he said.
As minor premiers, Greta Branxton will receive plenty of respect from the Thoroughbreds.
“They are a good side,” Ritter said.
“You don’t finish minor premier for nothing.”
He said their halves and hooker, Daniel Bates, are the keys.
“Joey (Griffiths) and Joby (Patten) play off the back of the good roll-on they get from their forwards and their hooker.”
He said his side would be endeavouring to shut down Bates’s dummy-half runs and short passing game just as Denman Devils did in last Sunday’s 31-12 major semi-final win at Greta Oval.
His side found some of its best form of the season to overcome Singleton in the minor semi.
Losing Dane Thorogood (overseas) is a blow but they could have halfback Brett Firman back from injury although Jarrod Wicks and Jake Watts have filled in admirably.
Josh Bell also had one of his best games of the season against Singleton and will be a key man again in what has been a good debut season for Ritter as a captain-coach.
The former Country lock is just 23 but relished the chance to lead his club.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” the young lock said on Thursday.
“It hasn’t been too bad really. I thought it might have been harder but I have had good support.”
With former representative halfback Aaron Watts as his assistant coach, Ritter has been able to concentrate on his on-field game while Watts, Ross Duggan and Kevin Watts have worried about the bench and use of replacements.
“I’ve also had Peter Thompson come back as a trainer too and Scott Pennell is a former captain-coach as club president,” Ritter said.
‘Then there are senior players like John Johnson, who has coached Scone as well.
They’ve all helped me out and made it easier,” Ritter said.
“They’ve made it easy so I can play my game.
“I don’t have to worry about a lot of things.”
Which means Ritter at his best can tear sides apart in the middle with his storming runs, offloads and huge hits.
SCONE 1 Tim Smith, 2 Justin Hall, 3 Joel Harrison, 4 Byron Warren, 5 Josh Adams, 6 Josh Bell, 7 Brett Firman, 8 James Barker, 9 John Johnson, 10 Tom Hagan, 11 James Eveleigh, 12 Cody McCarthy/Will Carrigan, 13 Daniel Ritter, 14 Jarrod Wicks, 15 Joel Marston, 16 Ben Manning, 17 Jake Watts.