THE Glen Innes Magpies might be cursing the referees this weekend depending on the outcome of a few games in this weekend’s “catch up” round as they make the trip to Moree to face the Boars.
In round 10 a judiciary decision led to a referees’ strike, postponing all but one Group 19 match.
The minor semi-final was pushed to the same weekend as the major and the missed round played this weekend.
At that stage the Magpies had just come off the back of a 44-12 trouncing of Tingha, and were sitting in clear second, just two points behind minor premiers the Boomerangs.
This week they are coming off a shock 36-32 loss to Tingha and are fighting for a spot in the major semi with an away minor semi the worst outcome.
“It also means our third trip to Moree in a just over a month,” Key said.
The Magpies could even find themselves in fourth position playing a minor semi away from home.
“A few little losses have put us under the pump.”
Key believes that the Magpies suffered from complacency earlier in the year and is looking to get it out of their game.
“In previous years it just happened for us and we made the finals,” Key said.
“It’s not the same this year.”
Key is looking for more structure and direction in the sides’ play this week, a feat made more difficult by the ongoing loss of halfback Nick Say with a knee injury.
With reserves safely in the finals, they will have a fully fresh squad for firsts.
Jock Waters will return to the side and is the type of player that could have made the difference last week.
“At times we have been our own worst enemies this year,” Key said.
“The most important thing for us now is to just enjoy the rest of the season.”
“It is only a few games.”
The other games will see Armidale trying to rack up a big win in Uralla in the Tigers’ final game of the season.
A minor semi final appearance is guaranteed although a 70-point plus win could net them a home ground advantage.
The only other game will see a dead rubber between Ashford and Tingha in Tingha.
The Rangs and Goondiwindi played the round 10 fixture while Inverell will enjoy a week off after the Hawks swooped to second place with a great late-season run.
If Glen doesn’t beat the Boars, the Hawks will go to The Boomerangs next week for the major semi, or will host the minor if the Magpies do get up.