WALCHA is hoping to kick off a big weekend of footy by booking a place in the second division semi-final with a win over a visiting Werris Creek.
The Roos are hoping the home ground advantage will get them over the line tomorrow as they host the first elimination final at Captain Cook Park.
The two sides limped into the finals on the back of six wins each, five behind third- placed Dungowan, although that is all out the window now, with both sides benefiting from returning players and entering the finals with close to full sides.
While the Roos’ form has been inconsistent, they have proved their capability to match it with the big three with the right roster, and could be a dark horse.
Coach Peter Berry is expecting a tough but open encounter, with Creek renowned for playing expansive football.
“Defence will be a big part of our game,” Berry said.
“We have to get up and compress them.”
Berry was surprised to see Creek’s last round result, a 48-6 victory over Boggabri.
“That shocked me a bit,” Berry said.
“They got around us and then got flogged by Creek.”
“I don’t know what they dragged out.”
Walcha is going in with a full roster and will also have a full bench, with unlimited interchange a unique feature to the division.
“Our attack was good against Kooty,” Berry said.
“I thought we were in with a chance at halftime but we fell asleep.”
“We need to get up in Creek’s face all game.”
“Force the error.”
Creek has had a war of attrition with numbers all year, playing several games with the bare 13 and still managing to snare a finals berth.
The Ron Dellar-coached squad will go in with 16 this week, a luxury it has not enjoyed for a few months.
Despite the subs, big metre-gaining props Tim Fenwicke and Thomas Brown will likely play the full 80 anyway.
“They won’t ask for a rest,” Dellar said.
“We have then got Cody Tickle on one side and Stewie Porter on the other in the halves.”
“The last couple of weeks we have been coming together well.”
The Magpies have got an eye out for damaging Roos centre Lachlan Brown.
Brown was a thorn in Creek’s side in both meetings this year, a loss and a win.
Creek is also capable of individual flashes of brilliance that can cost opposition teams as well.
Brilliance such as veteran Stewie Porter’s 53-metre golden point field goal that sank the Roos last time.
“We won’t let it get that close this time,” Berry said.
It is a huge weekend of footy in Walcha, with the rugby boys hosting a tier 2 major semi against Scone on the same ground tomorrow.
“It is great for the town and for the two clubs,” Berry said.
The major final will see round two of Barraba and Dungowan at Barraba.