DANIEL Hoogerwerf knows his Aberdeen Tigers have a huge hurdle to jump when they head to Scone Park today to tackle unbeaten Scone in their seventh-round A Plus Contracting Group 21 clash.
Scone Thoroughbreds are unbeaten and Hoogerwerf’s young and inexperienced team has one draw to show for its season so far.
While the Daniel Ritter captain-coached Thoroughbreds are hot favourites, Hoogerwerf warns people not to write his side off.
“We’re up for the challenge,” the young and enthusiastic Tiger skipper said.
“We trained well Tuesday night.
“And we have been playing well – we’ve just thrown some games away.
“I think we’re in for a big game.”
He knows the Thoroughbreds have a star-studded backline.
Four of the Thoroughbred backs are in the Greater Northern Tigers backline – Tim Smith (fullback), Josh Adams and Joel Harrison (wings) and Justin Apthorpe (centre).
They are part of an 18-man GN squad also containing GN skipper Daniel Ritter.
The Thoroughbred captain-coach and lock is in dynamic form and led the way for Group 21 last Saturday.
“They do have some great players,” Hoogerwerf said of the likes of Country fullback Tim Smith.
“We’re going to have our hands full with him (Tim Smith).
“And then there are others like JJ (Apthorpe) but I’m sure everyone is up to the task.
“We’ve got some good young players coming through down here as well.”
Aberdeen also has one of its own Greater Northern representatives too – prop Marcus Marsh.
He’s one of 13 G21 players in the 18-man GN squad to play Western at Singleton’s ResCo Park next Saturday.
Marsh has also been the Tiger standout all season, Hoogerwerf said.
“Marcus has been outstanding for us,” Hoogerwerf said.
“He’s been our best by far every week.
“He’s non-stop and been a great asset.
“He’s only 23 too, same age as me and been a great pickup for us since he came over from New Zealand.
“He played in their local competition over there, the best competition under the NRL.
“He said football over here is a bit quicker but not as physical.”
While Aberdeen is determined to end Scone’s unbeaten run at Scone Park this evening, the G21 competition continues tomorrow at Singleton and Denman.
Singleton Greyhounds will be trying to re-ignite their season against Greta Branxton Colts at ResCo park tomorrow while Denman hosts Muswellbrook Rams at Denman Oval.