MUSWELLBROOK Rams will have no excuses when they enter tomorrow’s A Plus Contracting Group 21 major semifinal against Denman Devils at home on their Olympic Park field in Muswellbrook.
The Josh Pearson-coached Rams go into the match as deserving favourites after a positive month, despite playing the reigning premiers.
Denman Devils have lost their way in the past six weeks, although they did rebound from a dumping against minor premiers Scone to beat Aberdeen in their final round game last Sunday. The Rams will be a much tougher opponent and possess many attacking weapons, headed by the Boney brothers, Cade and Daley.
Such is the strength of the Muswellbrook pack that young captain-coach, Pearsol, has moved to the centres for this clash.
“We’re close to full strength,” Pearsol told The Leader.
“We’re resting one or two who have niggling injuries but that’s it.”
In the Boneys Pearsol has two star players able to rip defences apart.
“They are outstanding,” Pearsol said.
“Cade might be small but he can score a try and Daley’s one of the best ball-playing, running secondrowers in the comp. His defence is always spot on and in attack he runs such good lines as well as being able to ball play. But we have a pack who can all do that too.
“That takes a lot of pressure off me.”
Pearsol is no stranger to centre, having played there in his younger days and he will be able to give his pack a helping hand when they tire.
Denman’s hopes received a lift this week with the likely return of talented pivot Garry McKeon.
Also the form of Brandon Walker, who returned from injury to star against Aberdeen, was a fillip for the Devils. Ben Hagan will head the forward pack with young Isaac Richardson part of a pack including enthusiastic hooker Adam Grech, whose crisp service could be a telling factor.
Winner of tomorrow’s minor semi plays the loser of next Sunday’s major semi between Scone and Greta Branxton.
Musellbrook’s ladies league tag is also playing tomorrow, tackling Greta Branxton about 12.10pm with Singleton and Greta Branxton Under 18s starting the day with an Under 18 minor semi from 10.45am.
1 Cade Boney, 2 Elliot Serhan, 3 Luke Cameron, 4 Josh Pearsol (c/c), 5 Ethan Christianson, 6 Ewan Bartholomew, 7 Geoff Sampson, 8 Simon Harmer, 9 Nathan Berry, 10 Jeff Saariko, 11 Daley Boney, 12 Adam Dale, 13 Jake Pottinger, 14 Liam Dunn, 15 Blair Baker, 16 Beau Dixon, 17 Josh Boyton.
(likely squad): Ben Hagan, Brad Behsman, Adam Grech, Brandon Walker, Darren Richards, Joel Pyne, Keresi Ledua, Blake Dureau, Garry Mckeon, Brody Smith, Isaac McCormick, Andrew Nicholls, Tyler Wolfgang, Blake Green, Broque Smith, Iliesa Carma, Paula Dinauvalu.