GRETA Branxton Colts are better prepared to tackle unbeaten competition leaders Scone in tomorrow’s top of the table A Plus Contracting Group 21 clash at Scone Park than they were the first time they played them.
The Colts lost that first- round clash 32-22 at Greta Oval.
“When we played them in the first round we were still a long way off where we wanted to be,” Greta Branxton coach Ron Griffiths said yesterday.
“We only competed for about 20 minutes of that match but still weren’t that far away.
“Scone are a quality side and they will be tough at home and we still have a little way to go yet .
“We’ve been working hard though.”
The Colts are currently second on the ladder, five points behind Scone.
They have their four Greater Northern representatives turning out as well – Joey Griffiths, Daniel Bates, Brady Hammond and Ben Murray have all come through the demanding Country Championship series well.
“All four are playing,” Griffiths said.
“They were a bit jaded at training on Tuesday night after five games in three weeks but they’ll be right.
“Scone are the yardstick and we’ll be looking to test ourselves against them.”
The respect is mutual too, with Scone captain-coach Daniel Ritter wary of just how tough a side the Colts will bring to Scone Park.
“It’s a big game for both sides,” Ritter said.
“Greta have been getting better and will be tough.
“They’ll be better than they were in the first round and hopefully so will we.
“They’ve got their four GN reps back and we have our five playing as well.”
Ritter, fullback Tim Smith, wingers Joel Harrison and Josh Adams and centre Justin Apthorpe all return from representative duty with Ritter slotting into lock behind a pack where James Barker has been a spearhead with his ability to charge the side forward.
The addition of Wes Suckley and Matt Finlayson has also strengthened the Thoroughbred pack this season.
In other Group 21 games Aberdeen hosts Denman Devils at McKinnonOval this evening (5.15pm kickoff) while Muswellbrook hosts Singleton at Olympic Park tomorrow in a game which could go a long way to deciding the fourth semi-final spot.