MOREE Boars chase a sixth straight win when they head to Varley Oval and a major showdown with the tail-spinning Inverell Hawks tomorrow.
The Hawks were third on the Group 19 first grade ladder until last Saturday’s local derby loss to Tingha Tigers.
The Boars slipped quietly into outright third when they avoided a Goondiwindi ambush in the Battle of the Boars at Gilbert Oval last Saturday night.
“I was worried about the game all week,” Moree Boars coach Wayne Hetherington admitted this week.
“I thought they might ambush us.”
They did, the Goondiwindi Boars leading their Moree counterparts 10-nil early on.
However the young Moree side stuck together and fought back to win 38-20.
It allowed the side to hurdle the Hawks.
Now they have to ensure all the hard work, the courage and commitment that went into not only last Saturday night’s win but the previous four, isn’t wasted.
“We’ve got to produce that same thing,” Hetherington said of the effort and courage under fire.
“It was a tough game, spiteful. But they got through it.
“Joey Henderson had a bit of concussion.
“Connor Ryan had shoulder and ankle injuries, John Lawton had a broken nose.
“We had some walking wounded.
“It was just a very physical game.
“But it might have been one we needed too.
“A good tough game for some hard ones coming up.”
Moree Boars suffered early on from a host of injuries too, including having five of their best out.
They were missing star centres Ben Williams and Sam Armstrong for the Goondi game but Armstrong should be back tomorrow.
Williams might be another three to four weeks with his hamstring.
However Matt Marshall is back.
He played a few minutes against Uralla and then about 60 against Goondi.
“We’ve got a heap of babies here”, Hetherington said.
“Matt’s 26 and probably the oldest we’ve got.
“We’ve given him plenty of time to get right because we need him.
“He’s a very good player plus we need his generalship.”
A lock-backrower, Marshall will be a key man in any premiership push.
That Beau McMahon, another running, mobile ball-playing backrower is also back and fit is another bonus.
“We’ve won five straight,” Hetherington said.
“But we’ll be going up there business as usual, flying under the radar.
“We know they’ll be smarting after their loss to Tingha but I’m quietly confident.”
In other games tomorrow, Ashford Roosters are at home to Uralla, Tingha Tigers head to Moree to tackle the competition-leading Moree Boomerangs and Glen Innes hosts Goondiwindi Boars at Kerry Mead Park.