Eagles coach Darren Coleman believes that a country rugby crowd can get them over the line as they clash with Perth in the NRC grand final at Scully Park tonight.
The Country Eagles have been the front runners and feel good story of the NRC after the country boys combined with city slickers the Sydney Stars at the start of the season.
“The boys have all bonded really well this season,” Coleman said.
“There is plenty of that country rugby spirit in that as well and we have been really well supported.”
Saturday will be the second Eagles game played in Tamworth this season following a big crowd watching them beat Melbourne Rising at Rugby Park earlier in the year, and Coleman hopes that even more fans can get behind them at Scully Park.
“There is always plenty of points in NRC games – we have averaged six or seven tries a game.”
“That is the beauty of this competition so it should be another exciting match.”
The Eagles know what to expect from Perth, who boast a big physical pack that dominated the breakdown against the Sydney Rays in last weekends semifinal.
“They are big and physical and will have a good scrum,” Coleman said.
“We have to match that physicality first and then look at going out wide.”
The Eagles are flush with attacking prowess out wide, and the coach believes fullback Andrew Kellaway is ready to peak after returning from injury a month ago.
Kellaway and cross code winger Reece Robinson have formed a dangerous and dynamic combination on the right edge that has been a constant threat to opposition defences all season, while inside back Dave Horwitz and Glen Innes bred winger Alex Newsome can also create try scoring opportunities from anywhere on the park.
“Kel (Kellaway) looks like he is ready to really impose himself on this game,” Coleman said.
“Jack Gordon (halfback) and Sam Figg (flanker) have also been in good form.”
“We had a great time and game in Tamworth last time so let’s hope we can finish it off.”
Gates open at 4pm with a big screen showing the Bledisloe Cup Test at 5.30pm, followed by the NRC final at 7.45pm.