Armidale to test Guyra's premiership credentials

GUYRA has emerged from the shadows to loom as a real contender but will face its biggest test today when it tackles competition leaders Armidale.

The Blues are well out in front and being touted as premiership favourites.

They are also something of the missing piece of the puzzle for the Ghosts.

“We’ve beaten all the other teams,” Ghosts coach Don Carruthers said.

It will be a good gauge of exactly how they are travelling although they won’t be quite at full strength.

They’ll be missing at least three of their top players, with half-back Anthony Ditman, fullback Beau Orchard and inside centre Dan Vidler all unavailable.

“We’ve got a couple of guys who might fit the bill,” Carruthers said.

The Blues had a strong win last time the two sides met but Carruthers wasn’t drawing too much from that.

They weren’t in condition then.

“We held them out for the first 20 minutes,” he said.

But fell away after that.

“We’ll put up a strong showing,” he said.

Especially if they show the commitment they did against Robb last week.

The forwards is where they have to match up to the Blues.

“They have a big pack of forwards,” Carruthers said.

Mike TeMoana is the linchpin and they’ll be looking to limit his one-off running.

“We’ve got to get good clean ball and got to make sure they don’t get the jump on us,” Carruthers said.

If they can give the backline opportunities to run, they’ll do the rest.

Carruthers rates their backline the best in the competition.

Arguably they will lose a bit of their punch without Vidler.

“He makes the breaks and takes two or three tacklers with him,” he said.

He will take a bit of replacing but Carruthers is confident they can cover him.

They did have ARU development manager Garry Walsh up at training on Thursday night and Carruthers said he was impressed by the way they went.

The points would see them jump to third, with St Albert’s having the bye.

In the other game, Barbarians will play Robb at Alcatraz.

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