INVERELL can kick its way closer to wrapping up a top two spot when it hosts Tamworth Kangaroos today.
“It’s a good old-fashioned eight-point game,” Saints coach Nick Baird said.
They can push two wins clear of the Roos with a win and go “a long way to locking up second”.
Subsequently a loss could see the Roos pull level with them.
The Saints got up by 35 in their earlier meeting but are wary of the Roos’ threat out wide.
“They’ve got really good outside runners,” Baird said.
“They’ve got some young quick players who use the ball well on the outside of the ruck.
“We have to restrict that as best we can.”
He knows they’re not going to be able to stop it completely but will be looking to the backline to continue doing what they have been.
“Our backline has been outstanding all year,” Baird said.
“They’ve done a wonderful job restricting teams from kicking goals against us.”
“If we can restrict their entries into our own forward 50 that will go a long way to winning the game for us.”
It’s the Roos’ second trip to Inverell this season and doesn’t promise to be any easier.
They are again down a few players through either injury or unavailability.
“It’s always a tough trip,” Roos’ defender Daniel Johnson said.
“It’s the toughest road trip in the competition.”
The Saints seem to just lift that bit extra playing at home.
“They tend to get a roll-on in the midfield.
“It can be overwhelming at times,” Johnson said.
And almost impossible to stop.
He felt the key for them today would be sticking with the Saints for as long as they can and to staying on task for the full game.
“We’ve got to play 100 minutes,” he said. “If we slacken off for 10-15 minutes they can put seven or eight goals on you.”
Being a bit short on legs, that will be hard to chase down.
“If they get a good break on us we’ve got to peg it back quickly, respond quickly,” he said.
In the other games, New England Nomads host Gunnedah and Narrabri Eagles travel to Tamworth to take on the Swans in the battle of the birds.