KOOTINGAL Roosters and North Tamworth Bears might have to battle an unlikely foe when they meet in Sunday’s major preliminary final at Kootingal Oval – rain!
Or rather a wet track.
With forecasts predicting around 40mm on Friday and Saturday, it could mean Kootingal Oval could be heavy.
“I was going to have a [team] run on Saturday as well,” said Kootingal coach Geoff Sharpe.
“But I might not risk it on a wet, and maybe a slippery, surface.”
He will be without Shane Salvador for Sunday’s match after the big forward was sent off in the win over Narrabri at Narrabri.
“It’s a big loss but it means Brodie (Sowter), Kyle (Cochrane) and Matt (Lillicrap) will have to play bigger minutes,” Sharpe said.
Sam Knight and Jake McLoughlin could also figure with McLoughlin telling Sharpe his broken ribs have healed sufficiently for him to play.
North Tamworth has named an unchanged side from the one that beat Gunnedah 26-24 last Sunday.
Shane Wadwell has been named at prop despite contracting a leg injection.
Bears captain-coach Scott Blanch is unsure which side would get a rain advantage.
“No one knows, because we haven’t played in rain or on a wet track all year. We don’t know if we are mud runners or not.”
NORTH TAMWORTH BEARS: 1 Chris hunt, 2 Colby La Chiusa, 3 Richard Clegg, 4 Tristram Morris, 5 Zac Nigro, 6 Scott Blanch (c/c), 7 Kieran Fisher, 8 James Cooper, 9 Ryan Ingram, 10 Shane Wadwell, 11 Brad Marshall, 12 Jake McManus, 13 Nick Dobson, 14 Mitch Sheridan, 15 Jack Patterson, 16 Ben Jarvis, 17 Bill Jeffries, 18 Dan Boland, 19 Daniel Semms.
WOODLEY’S ISUZU UTE GROUP 4 MAJOR/MINOR PRELIMINARY FINALS
MINOR PRELIMINARY FINALS (Kitchener Park, Gunnedah): First grade (2.45pm kickoff): Gunnedah v Werris Creek; second grade (1.15pm kickoff): South West Robins v Bendemeer; under-18 (12 noon kickoff): Boggabri v Narrabri; ladies league tag tier 1 (11am kickoff): Barraba v Dungowan; ladies league tag tier 2 (10am kickoff): South West Robins v Bendemeer.
MAJOR PRELIMINARY FINALS (Kootingal Oval): First grade (2.45pm kickoff): Kootingal v North Tamworth; second grade: Barraba v North Tamworth (1.15pm); under-18 (12 noon kickoff): Dungowan v North Tamworth; ladies league tag tier 1 (11am kickoff): North Tamworth v Kootingal; ladies league tag tier 2 (10am kickoff): Werris Creek v Boggabri.
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