The Greater Northern Tigers' under-16 side are walking a final-round tightrope when they tackle the Northern Rivers Titans in Saturday’s Andrew Johns Cup match at Armidale’s Bellevue Oval.
Tigers coach Steve Haylen said his side must bounce back quickly from last Saturday’s 34-12 loss to North Coast in Coffs Harbour if they are win a semi-final berth in the CRL’s Country Championship.
“It’s a real tough game for us,” Haylen said. “I don’t think anyone has put a point on the Titans in the four games so far.
"They have been winning by big margins and beat North Coast 52-nil, who beat us last week.”
If the Tigers lose to the Titans, they have to rely on Newcastle beating North Coast on Saturday for them to make the semi-finals, Haylen added.
He said it’s a tightrope but believes his side can bounce back strong.
“We really have to win against the Titans," he said. "We’ll put a fair bit into that final training session and come up with a plan to beat them.
"They have a big side. They are very strong in behind the ruck and have some big forwards who have played for the state.
“I think we can give them a bit of a shake but we have to be a lot better than we were last week.
“It’s the old cliché, complete your sets and get through the basics. I am sure, though, the boys will give it a red hot crack.”