URALLA Tigers pulled out of reserve grade on Thursday night for today’s Group 19 clash with Moree but will have a close to full top grade, 18s and league tag sides.
The last time the two sides met, the Tigers celebrated their first win since stepping up to the top grade this season.
Two weeks later they beat Ashford for their only other win although the junior side is undefeated and alone on top of the ladder.
Uralla has got an 18s side packed with talent and, after losing the preliminary final last year, is keen to go a step further.
President and coach Carl Press said that a lot of the junior players back up in both top grades and they need to protect them at the back end of the season.
“We don’t want them backing up too much and try to keep them at the top of the comp,” Press said.
“This week Greg and Sam Press will be the only 18s playing both.”
Carl is hoping nephew Greg can repeat his heroics of last week where he scored three tries in the 18s against Tingha, and then backed it up with another hat-trick in the top grade.
The Tigers have been scoring plenty of points this season but are struggling to keep opposition sides out.
“We average just over 30 points a game but unfortunately average 38 against,” Press said.
“We get steamrolled with back-to-back sets because we are a small and young side.”
With seven first graders under 20 years old, the president said that was their strength and weakness.
“We play an unpredictable game and chance our arm but that also makes us vulnerable,” Carl Press said.
“We are missing a bit of experience to close out games.”
Press said it was still mathematically possible for them to make the finals if they win every game.
“The chances of that aren’t real good but we can stuff up some other sides.
“We can put a lot of points on sometimes and could really hurt some of the top sides’ finals chances.
“Moree are a young side like us but have a bit more size.”
The Tigers will also be missing Jordan Press who is playing against Queensland with NSW Country 18s this week and scored a good try playing centre against Australian Samoa on Monday.
Inverell will host Armidale in a third versus fourth clash, while Goondiwindi will be in Tingha and Glen Innes will host the winless Ashford.