THE Walcha Rams will be looking to make a strong case for this season's Central North minor premiership when they play host to Pirates on Saturday.
A rematch of last season's decider, the Rams have the bragging rights over Pirates in 2019, winning their round three clash 65-14.
Pirates will be coming into the clash off the back of a 31-26 loss to the Moree Bulls, while the Rams will look to carry on their momentum after defeating Inverell 44-21.
Despite last week's loss, club captain David Healey said the Rams would not be taking Pirates lightly.
"The top part of the ladder is certainly very competitive and any side can really beat any other on any given day," Healey told the Leader.
"From that perspective, it is certainly a lot closer than in years gone by, but you still have to treat Pirates with a lot of respect because they are a quality team."
The Rams will receive a boost with the return of Will Fletcher from a broken nose, but Healey said a number of key players were still sidelined with injuries.
"We have been pretty lucky this season to have strong depth in our playing ranks to help cover for some of those injuries," he said.
"Guys like Henry King, who have been out of the side for a while, have been covered thanks to the depth we have in second grade.
"As well as those guys who have stepped up, it has been really good for us to have Sione Kamoto playing so consistently for us.
"He is arguably one of the most dangerous players in the competition and has really starred for us this season."
Healey said while a loss this week "wouldn't be devastating to the team's season" a win would help them cement their place atop the Central North ladder.
"We haven't really spoken about it as a group, but I think it's fair to say everyone is committed to trying to win the minor premiership," he said.
"A win on Saturday would certainly be a step in the right direction for us, but we know it won't be easy."