MOREE Boomerangs and Glen Innes Magpies face off in a classic top of the table contest at Glen Innes’s Kerry Mead Park today.
Reigning premiers (Boomerangs) against unbeaten competition leaders, speed and brilliant ad lib football (Boomies) against tough, uncompromising “slugfest” football.
The Moree Boomerangs are coming off a 58-30 win over Moree Boars in a big local derby they led 42-6 at halftime last week.
Boomerangs coach Chris Binge hopes to be close to full strength for the clash.
Only prop Jeremy Smith (knee injury) appeared to be unavailable, Binge said.
“Other than that we’ll be near as possible to full strength,” Binge said
“I’d like to think we’d play as well as we did in the first half last week.
“It’s going to be a tough game.
“They are a good side.
“At the end of the day it’s their home game and they are leading the comp.
“From our point of view we just want to get a good result.”
That means playing well.
If the Boomies play well they will give themselves a good chance of upsetting the unbeaten Magpies.
“We’ve prepared well this week,” Binge added.
“We had a light run Tuesday because of the amount of football we’ve had.”
Glen Innes captain-coach Sam Key said his side was almost at full strength as well.
“Adam McPhillips (second-rower) has work commitments,” he said.
“Other than that we’re pretty well at full strength.”
Yet to play the Boomerangs this year, it’s going to be a “suck it and see” type of game for Key and the Magpies.
“I’m sure they will be just as strong as they were last year,” he said.
“It’s the biggest game of the year so far for us.
“Each game has been a slug fest for us – we’ve been winning ugly.
“We’d be happy to do the same in this game.
“If we can get the two points it might let us slip away a little and guarantee a home semi.”
He believes his big men – Jeff Moate and Mone Loketi – will play important roles just as his centres, converted backrowers Nick Ehsman and Jock Waters, will.
“We don’t have their speed so we’re going to have to play tough.”
In other G19 games today, Moree Boars host Armidale Rams, Uralla Tigers go to Gilbert Oval, Goondiwindi to tackle the Goondiwindi Boars and Inverell Hawks host Ashford at Varley Oval, Inverell.
Tingha Tigers have the bye.