The Tamworth Thunderbolt men are hoping Saturday night’s final round State League clash with Coffs Harbour will be a perfect springboard into the finals.
“We’ll be looking to build momentum heading into a tough semi-final against Sutherland,” coach John Ireland said.
Their last home game of the regular season, the Thunderbolts will be hoping it is their last home game fullstop with a win over Sutherland securing them a spot in the finals series.
“Ultimately we’d like to go on the road and guarantee ourselves that top four spot,” Ireland said.
Thanks to finishing in the top two, if unsuccessful, they will get a second opportunity the following weekend, most likely at home.
They enter the Suns clash on the back of a weekend of mixed fortunes in Sydney, although Ireland was delighted with the way they turned things around after a “demoralising” loss to St George on Saturday night to beat Manly on Sunday.
“We want to keep building on that,” he said.
“I think we started the season exceptionally well, we were holding teams to between 50 and 60-odd points a game,” Ireland said.
“Last week we gave up 95 points against St George. For all of us that’s unacceptable.
“We’re looking to really lock down Coffs Harbour this weekend, and make scoring as difficult as possible on their offence.”
they will be without Matt Monckton and Scott McGann, but Ireland won’t know until close to tip-off the final make-up of the side.
“Justin Leehy isn’t 100 per cent after copping a head knock on Saturday.
“He’ll be a bit of a game time call,” he said.
Likewise Riley Murphy, who has “a bit of an ankle tweak”. Ireland will asses how he goes in the warm-up.
Whatever does happens he has faith they can do the job, pointing to the likes of guys likes of Abe Dwyer-Westhorpe, Jayden Pryer and Toby Whale as “guys I know that can easily step up and play their role”.
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