MUSWELLBROOK Rams are preparing for one of their biggest games of the season.
Fresh from Sunday’s 30-12 win over Aberdeen at McKinnon Field, Aberdeen, the Rams have a Saturday night home game against the Greta Branxton Colts.
The Colts did the Rams a big favour last Saturday night when they came from 24-12 down, and with just 12 men, to beat Denman Devils 32-24 at Denman Oval.
It enabled the Rams to join the Devils, who are reigning Group 21 premiers, on 13 points and in equal third.
With two rounds remaining, it could decide who finishes third and obtains the hosting rights for the minor semi.
Rams captain-coach Josh Pearsol was delighted to finish on top of the Tigers on such a big day at McKinnon Field, with the Tigers honouring their former junior, Alex McKinnon, in the Rise for Alex Day in Newcastle.
Alex’s father, Scott, is the Tiger president.
However, it wasn’t a winning day for the Aberdeen Tigers or the Newcastle Knights, with the Knights losing to the Gold Coast Titans and the Aberdeen Tigers going down by 18 points to the Rams.
“It was a tough game,” Pearsol said.
“There’s a lot of rivalry between the two clubs as it is and it was always going to be a big day for them.”
Cade Boney and Greater Northern and Country Under 18 rep Ryan Holman went “neck and neck” for the Rams’ players’ player award too, Pearsol said.
He’s hoping his improving and evolving side can continue its rise against the Colts at Olympic Park on Saturday.
“It’s a big game for us,” he said.
“We’re having a reunion for the 2004 side that won the premiership.
“It’s also our sponsors’ night and also a memorial for Scott Dowell.”
Pearsol’s assistant coach is Barry Edwards.
The former backrower captain-coached the Rams to that 2004 premiership and has been a more than handy acquisition for Pearsol in his debut as a captain-coach.
Greta Branxton coach Ron Griffiths cannot believe his luck.
After his under-strength side went to Denman and came back from a 12-point deficit to beat the Devils with 12 men on their home ground, he has to tackle the Rams at their home ground as well.
“We went to Denman with a few boys missing and beat them on their Old Boys night,” Griffiths said.
“Now we’re going to Muswellbrook this week and they’ve got a reunion and sponsors’ day.
“It should be a big night.”
The Aberdeen Tigers also host Singleton in a Saturday night game and Denman Devils tackle unbeaten Scone at Scone Park in Sunday’s lone G21 clash.