SCONE plans to get the jump on Quirindi early tomorrow as it looks to get the jump on Tamworth.
The two are jostling for second spot in tier two and are currently level on points, with the Brumbies just ahead on wins.
Both have clashes tomorrow they should win, with the Magpies hosting Barraba and the Brumbies tackling the winless Lions in Quirindi.
They are fresh from the break and rejuvenated from a good win over Barraba leading into the break.
It was their first for six games and has injected some sting back into them.
“We think we’re coming back to the right frame of mind at the right time of the season,” co-coach Duncan Pinfold said.
They were in a bit of slump for a while there.
Tomorrow will be the first time Pinfold has seen them play for about a month.
He’s been overseas and has had mixed reports filtering back to him.
Thankfully the last was a good one.
“The solid win against Barraba might have set us up for a bit of a change in momentum,” he said.
The bye was good for the players to get a good rest. They told some of them they didn’t want to see them until training last night.
“They should be fresh and excited for the weekend,” Pinfold said.
He’s hoping that will translate into a good start. That’s the focus for tomorrow – starting well.
“We’re focusing on that first quarter – that first 20 – and not letting Quirindi have any thoughts that they have a chance,” Pinfold said.
“The plan is to dominate them in the first 20 minutes.”
It has been an issue for them at times and has cost them games.
Their two games previous to Barraba they started poorly.
And while both times they finished strongly, the damage had been done by then.
“We want to start well and continue to play for the 80 minutes,” Pinfold said.
They do have one eye on what’s ahead too.
After the Lions they’ve got the Magpies and (Walcha) Rams.
“I think if we do a good job on Saturday it’ll set us up for Tamworth and Walcha,” he said.
In the top tier, Gunnedah will be looking to follow up its last-round win over Moree with another big scalp when it hosts Pirates.
Narrabri returns from the break and travels to Inverell in the other game.
It will be an important one for the Blue Boars as the race for the top two heats up and coming off their last-game loss to Pirates.