GWYDIR can end Glen Innes’s reign as Group 19 premiers at Mead Park, Glen Innes today and end a huge day for the Magpies in disappointment.
Glen Innes has all four teams in Group 19 preliminary finals today, starting with the ladies’ League Tag and working through the Under 18s and second grade finals to the first grade final.
However, the injury-ravaged Magpies will find a dangerous foe lying in wait, Gwydir coach Peter Stevens said.
“I don’t know who they have out after last Sunday’s loss to the Boomies but we are just worrying about ourselves.
“I believe whoever makes the less mistakes and whoever is prepared to tackle out of the three sides left will win it.”
All three sides have attacking skills but Stevens believes defence and controlling the ball will win a Group 19 premiership.
He said his side’s biggest task will be sticking with Glen in the first 25 minutes.
“They steamrolled the Boomies up the middle in the first 20 last week,” he said.
“But the Boomies hung on.
“We’ve got to take their onslaught.
“It’s also going to be a lot cooler at Glen too.
“We’ve just got to control the footie and get our defence in order.
“We’ve got points in us but we can’t if we don’t look after the ball.”
He said his side had trained well and believes his mobile pack can lay a foundation for the likes of Mitch Porter and Dave McGrady to work their magic out wide.
Both have been in great form.
“But if our pack can hold Glen’s, that’ll win us the game.
“I think Harold Duncan is due for a big game on the wing too.
“But the boys have worked hard and prepared well for this – they’ve ticked all the boxes.”
The Magpies are going into the game full of confidence despite dropping two games to Gwydir this season, according to president Howard Whan.
“They will try to play through their big forwards early which will suit us,” Whan said.
“If we control their second-phase play and pressure them for the full 80 minutes we should get up.”
Centre Matt Crowhurst will be on the sideline for a while after suffering a broken jaw and classy fullback Matt Blanch will also sit out the season with a broken hand.
The Magpies have plenty of talent across the field and the home ground advantage is a big boost for the side which has featured in the previous three grand finals, and won two.
“We have been here plenty of times before and have the team to get it done,” Whan said.