A SECOND Group 4 double header and a Greater Northern shot at a triple Country Championship Final whammy highlights the rugby league landscape across Groups 4, 19 and 21 this weekend.
On a day where the 66th Peel Schools Rugby League Carnival kicks off in Tamworth, the Greater Northern Tigers senior side is playing North Coast in Wyong for a berth in the Tier 2 Country Championship Final at Tamworth’s Scully Park on June 21.
While a full round of Group 4 Second Division games kick off tomorrow and three of the four Group 19 games, Group 21 and Group 4 bounce back from long weekend byes to play Sunday rounds.
In Group 21, unbeaten competition leaders Scone Thoroughbreds go to Denman to play reigning premiers Denman Devils on Sunday.
Singleton is at home to Aberdeen after losing to Greta Branxton 30-20 last weekend in a postponed match.
Greta Branxton moved back to within five points of Scone with that win and hosts improving Muswellbrook.
Greta will hope its GN Tiger representatives – Joey Griffiths, Daniel Bates, Brady Hammond and Ben Murray – come through tomorrow’s Country Championship match unscathed.
Muswellbrook has versatile backrower Daley Boney backing up.
Greater Northern chairman Barry Pratten hopes all of the GN players come through unscathed and win a semi-final that would give Greater Northern three sides in four of the Country Championship Finals at Scully Park tomorrow week.
The GN Under 16s and 18s have already made CC Finals.
“The 16s and 18s played well down there (Wollongong),” Pratten said.
“Although the 16s have a tough game against Western Rams who looked a very good side.
“The GN seniors have a tough semi-final against North Coast, especially playing at 10am, but it would be terrific if they could join the 16s and 18s in Country Championship Finals at Scully Park.
“It would be great for us to have all three teams playing.”
Greater Northern senior coach Darryl Rando is also hopeful of that outcome as well although the 10am start to tomorrow’s Tier 2 Country Championship semi-final is a minor problem.
The early starting time is something his side has to deal with when it meets at Scone this morning and buses (10.30am) to Toukley in preparation for tomorrow’s match at Morrie Breen Oval.
“Everyone’s fit and healthy as far as I know,” Rando said.
“I haven’t had any phone calls.
“The 10am start is nice and early but both sides have got to cope with it.”
He said his side must start well again.
The Greater Northern senior side remains intact, with 18-year-old Scone winger Joe Adams remaining as 18th man after joining the squad in Singleton for the Western Rams game.
Pratten is also Group 4 president and is hoping the rain stays away for the second of the Scully Park double headers on Sunday.
The first was staged a fortnight ago but was hampered by continual rain through the day.
“The first one went off well despite the rain,” Pratten said of the West-Wee Waa and Narrabri-Oxley Digger games.
“The rain was a a problem but it’s a good concept and one we’re happy with.”
He said the second double header would start at 9am Sunday with a ladies league tag game between unbeaten Oxley Diggers and Gunnedah.
The Oxley Diggers-Gunnedah match is timed to start around 1pm with the West-North clash about 2.30pm.