WHILE the focus of Group 19 has been on the first Moree local derby for over 20 years, the other three games also look like being blockbusters.
The Rangs will host the Boars for the first time since 1993, although a long injury list at the Boars could hand the Rangs the local bragging rights until the second round.
The Armidale Rams are travelling to Tingha for the first time this season today.
Armidale’s last game shocked the group when the Rams beat the Boomerangs in Moree, and they will be looking to build off the back of that win.
They had a bye after that game which halted their momentum a bit but also gave them a chance to recover from the big game.
Coach Terry Carson said that the team put a fair bit into that game but the win made the players realise what they are capable of this season.
“After that win the boys have been training really well and are excited about the rest of the season,” Carson said.
In that game the Rams’ big pack dominated down the middle of the field and that is going to be their plan for every game this season.
“Tingha are dangerous across the park and are always in the game,” Carson said.
“Obviously we have to watch Mick Dawson and Guy Mepham but we are just going to keep playing straight.”
The Rams are obviously focused on the win first, although Carson also has his eye on their for and against.
Armidale is sitting in third on eight points, with a points difference of -8.
“I would like to see that go up a bit,” Carson said.
“It is already a very close season and I think they may count at the end of the year.”
“We didn’t really factor in beating the Rangs so we are fairly pleased with where we are sitting on the ladder.”
Bottom of the ladder Ashford will try its luck this weekend when Goondiwindi makes the trip down.
It might be another tough day out for the Roosters, with the Goondi Boars keen to bounce back after the Rangs put 52 points on them last week.
Glen Innes will make the trip to Inverell to take on the Hawks.
The undefeated Magpies are on a roll this season after exiting in last year’s semi- finals, although are heading into a tough part of the draw starting this week.
They are about to meet the Rangs, Rams, Tingha, and Goondi following this game against Inverell, who have won two on the trot.
Inverell had a poor start to the season, although coach Peter Stevens seems to have wound the Hawks up and they are sure to be a handful on their day.