Dress rehearsal a chance to get to know the enemy

BARRABA and Tamworth will warm-up for next week’s Tier 2 minor semi-final with a dress rehearsal at Barraba today.

Barraba half-back Adam Cabot releases to his backs when the Rams met Tamworth last month. The two will match up today in a minor semi-final preview. Photo: Geoff O’Neil 120714GOH01

Barraba half-back Adam Cabot releases to his backs when the Rams met Tamworth last month. The two will match up today in a minor semi-final preview. Photo: Geoff O’Neil 120714GOH01

The two will meet next Sunday in a do or die clash in Tamworth.

“It’s a funny situation playing them two weeks in a row,” Magpies co-coach Ross Duncan said.

Depending on how things go they could either have some work to do or be high on confidence.

The Magpies have won both encounters this season but have found it a struggle.

Last time they only got home on the back of a late try. 

That today’s game is at Barraba will make the challenge that bit tougher.

“They are more than capable of getting the result,” Duncan said.

They showed that two weeks ago, knocking off Scone.

“For us its about getting the basics rights and focusing on the job at hand rather than the result,” he said.

“The points will take care of themselves if we’re taking care of the work.”

Their forwards were great against Walcha last week and will have to be again today.

“Last time they came at us. They were the aggressors in the game,” Duncan said.

“With our bigger size forward pack we should be trying to meet that.”

And be laying down the challenge themselves.

They took a lot of positives away from their win over Walcha last week, and with next week in mind a lot of the focus today will be on building on those. “We did well in terms of playing a bit wider and playing more football,” Duncan said.

That said he would like to see the set pieces pick up.

It has dropped off a bit from the standard it was earlier in the season.

They have suffered a bit of a set-back though with loosehead prop Tom Chaffey out for the season.

“He’s one of the understated members of the team,” he said.

“He’s held up that side very well.”

Unfortunately too they don’t seem to have the looseheads that they do tightheads.

In the other Tier 2 game Scone hosts Quirindi and will also be looking towards the finals.

“Regardless of who we’re playing we just want to keep our structure and prepare for the Walcha game,” Brumbies co-coach Duncan Pinfold said.

“We’re focusing on our game, our game plan - in theory hopefully sticking to it to the letter.”

Against the Rams they didn’t have any structure.

“Even if the game does get messy we want to tighten it back up,” Pinfold said.

“Not try and score off every phase, which has been our problem.”

“Keep the ball and recycle it.”

They won’t be taking the Lions lightly. They’ll be busting for a win.

Today is their last chance.

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