KOOTINGAL will be looking to assert its dominance on the competition as it hosts Dungowan in a top of the table Second Division clash today.
For the first time all season, the Roosters are close to full strength with a full bench.
Captain-coach Nathan Hamlin believes that whoever wins today will win the minor premiership, as Dungowan sits only one win off the unbeaten Roosters.
Kootingal will welcome back Mitch Baker, Grayson Bradbury and Andrew Sandbrook in a huge boost for its pack.
It has also taken Timmy Milson into the fold.
The front rower hasn’t played since he ran on for Coonabarabran to beat North Tamworth 33-24 in the 2003 grand final, according to Hamlin.
“He is only 36 so he is young around some of my blokes,” Hamlin said.
Milson had his first game last week against Manilla and impressed the coach.
“His timing was a bit rusty but he is a very handy pick-up,” Hamlin said.
Three tries to fellow veteran Jeremy Moss last week shot him to the top of the tryscorers’ table, as the Roosters showed they are dangerous across the field.
Dungowan will be fresh from the bye and keen to knock Kooty off after a four- point loss in round four, which is is still the only loss for the Cowboys this year.
That match was a fiery affair, with a few sin bins as the Roosters fired early and then hung on to beat the fast-finishing Cowboys.
While the battle for first rages, so too will the battle for the last spot in the finals.
Werris Creek will host Walcha with both sides locked on 12 points in fourth.
Walcha coach Peter Berry also finally has a full squad together and knows what the Roos have to do.
“We have to win,” Berry said.
“We need to try to win everything from here.”
In recent weeks, the Roos have welcomed back the likes of captain Troy Yarnold, devastating centre Lachlan Brown as well as Lachlan Laurie.
“I think we just need one win to get our heads up and get some confidence to win more games,” Berry said.
Boggabri made use of some reaching and grabbing defence a fortnight ago to beat the Roos.
“We need to do the hard stuff,” Berry said.
“Complete sets and force errors in defence.”
The other fixture will see Barraba make the trip down the road to Manilla.
Two losses have the premiers focused and it could be a tough day out for the winless Tigers.