INVERELL will field three sides in tomorrow’s Group 19 grand final day and the key to surviving a grand final at the Moree Boomerangs’ Burt Jovanovich Oval is to ignore the crowd and concentrate on the football, according to Hawks president Garry Lavender.
The Hawks already know all about it after going down there in the big one last year but Lavender believes it is now or never for the side that last held the silverware in 2011.
“We have got a really good team together this season,” Lavender said.
“We got Nick Dawson and Guy Mepham from Tingha and they are two of the best in the group.”
“If we don’t win it this year I don’t know when we will.”
The Hawks and the premiers have been heading towards this day all season and, after Inverell took the minor title, the Boomerangs came from behind to win the major semi-final and book another home grand final.
Previous years have seen up to 5000 spectators turn up for finals day at one one of Australia’s most iconic bush footy clubs.
“It’s always tough to go to the Rangs and win,” Lavender said.
“But we know what it is about and just have to concentrate on the football.”
Following the semi-final loss the Hawks bounced back to flog the Moree Boars 66-10 in last week’s preliminary final, and have taken plenty of positives from the thumping.
“It was great for our momentum and confidence and we will bring that into this week,” Lavender said.
The Hawks outplayed the Boars in every aspect but will need to go up another gear and watch their errors against a clinical Boomerangs side.
“We need to get clinical ourselves and hold the ball to the kick,” Lavender said.
The president knows that’s the only way to go past the Boomerangs, and Inverell has the team list to do it.
“You can’t predict the Boomerangs and you can’t run around them,” Lavender said. “They are too quick so we have to go up the middle.”
Front rowers Dawson, Scott Fitzgerald and 80-minute player Alex McCosker have been tasked with winning that battle early.
“We have got Jayden Connors at fullback and Harold Duncan and Rodney Bull out wide,” Lavender said.
“If we hold the ball the team will click together again like they did last week.”
“We just have to turn up, put the crowd behind us and want it more than they do.”
Boomerangs coach Chris Binge agrees.
“Last week the Hawks turned up to play and we have to expect the same,” Binge said.
“We both get results off the back of our packs so we need to get on the front foot early.
“I know we can get the result at home.”
Inverell and the Rangs will also battle out reserve grade, with the Hawks aiming for an undefeated premiership.
In U18s, Glen Innes will face Inverell, while Moree Boars will play Ashford in the league tag starting at 10am.