Tamworth Thunderbolts in must win clash against Lithgow

OUT: Rhys Chillingworth will miss this weekend's clash through suspension. Photo: Peter Hardin
OUT: Rhys Chillingworth will miss this weekend's clash through suspension. Photo: Peter Hardin

Rhys Chillingworth would love nothing more than to run out on court with his Tamworth teammates in their do-or-die clash with Lithgow this weekend.

However, the Thunderbolt will have to watch from the sidelines on Saturday at the Dome.

Chillingworth is serving a suspension for picking up too many technical fouls throughout the season.

Having missed one game already – Tamworth’s first round finals loss last weekend against Sutherland – this match will be the final one of Chillingworth’s suspension.

Lucky it was only two weeks as well. Chillingworth would have found it incredibly hard to spend any more time on the sidelines.

“Being there last weekend, seeing we were under the pump and knowing I couldn’t help in any way was tough,” Chillingworth said.

“David Bourke, our captain, urged me to stay positive on the bench.”

That’s what Chillingworth did and he’ll do so again this weekend.

A win for Tamworth on Saturday will see the side move through to the final four.

Having been there before, Chillingworth can’t see why the Thunderbolts can’t get there again.

“The team has been there the last two years in the final four and this year we nearly have a stronger team than the last two seasons,” Chillingworth said.

“If we play the way we know we can and have done, there’s no reason we can’t beat Lithgow and progress.”

While Chillingworth said the Thunderbolts had found it a “bit trickier to gel” this season, he also noted the side had started to click in the back half of the year.

He expected the Bolts to take that into Saturday’s game and thought a few players could produce the goods.

“I think Matty Monckton, if he can recapture the form he had a month ago, he’ll be a wildcard for us,” Chillingworth said. “Chris Skilton and Scott McGann as well. If they can get firing early we’ll start well.”