WALCHA will be hoping to emulate some of its 2012 heroics when it hosts Scone in tomorrow’s Tier 2 major semi-final.
There isn’t the promise of a home grand final this time but still the lure of a grand final berth and a shot at the silverware.
They will be looking to recapture their mid-season form after a bit of a stumble leading into the finals.
They were beaten by the Brumbies and then Tamworth in the second round.
That performance has prompted a couple of changes for tomorrow, with coach Andrew Crawford rejigging the halves.
Charlie Cordingley moves into half-back and captain Simon Newton into five-eighth.
“We’re just after a bit more strength in the backline defensive-wise,” Crawford said.
“And a bit more straight running.”
“We let ourselves down in that facet when we played Tamworth.
“I’m hoping to cure that problem.”
Cordingley will make a straight swap with Soni Halanukonuka with Halanukonuka pushing out to outside centre where he’ll partner the returning Eddie Churchill.
Churchill has been missing through injury and is a big in.
He brings that bit of x-factor.
The focus for them has been not so much the Brumbies but their own game and their “dumb mistakes”.
They made too many against the Brumbies last time.
“The same at Tamworth. We were guilty of letting them back into the game with silly mistakes,” Crawford said.
They’ve also spoken about being dominant up front before they do anything else.
For the Brumbies, what it really boils down to is mental attitude.
That will be the key, co-coach Duncan Pinfold said.
It overlaps into a lot of areas including defence and discipline.
“Our biggest thing when we beat them was our discipline,” Pinfold said.
“It was really good that day.
“We have had a tendency to drop our bundle and drop our bottom lip if it doesn’t go our way.”
He said they had spoken about how costly giving teams three points or a piggyback down the field could be.
“Our defence will have to be on our game from one end of the paddock to the other,” he said.
“No laziness or jumper-grabbing.”
They know full well what can happen if their defence isn’t on, with the Rams’ backs cutting them apart on their last visit to Walcha.
Like for the Rams, the forwards will have big role to play.
“We don’t want to see the ball in the backs unless the forwards have got the edge,” Pinfold said.