THE Greater Northern Tigers under-16s are walking a final round tightrope when they tackle 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 weekend’s 34-12 loss to North Coast in Coffs Harbour to secure a semi berth in the CRL’s Country Championships.
“It’s a real tough game for us,” he admitted.
“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 52-0, who beat us last week.”
If the Tigers lose to the Titans they then 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 team can respond with a final training session planned for 6.30pm on Friday in Armidale.
“If we do lose against the Titans we have to rely on Newcastle winning, so that’s 50-50,” Haylen added.
“We really have to win against the Titans.
“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.”
The Tigers’ youngsters start a huge day with their game kicking off at 10am at Bellevue Oval, Armidale, followed by the under-18s, women and under-23 men.
Greater Northern Tigers teams
Under-16s (Kick off 10am): 1 Latrell Newman (Moree), 2 Daltyn McCartney (Denman), 3 Campbell Watchirs (Inverell), 4 Blake Johnston (Scone), 5 Brayden Talbott-Hatch (Gunnedah), 6 Ethan Antzakles (Farrer), 7 Pichai Dixon (Aberdeen), 8 Mark Simon (Farrer), 9 Sam Fechner (Scone), 10 Ryan Kelly-Payne (Gunnedah), 11 Hayden Bull (Scone), 12 Luke Smith (Scone), 13 Jock Brazel (c -Moree), 14 Riley Reid (Dungowan), 15 Lachlan Smith (Farrer), 17 Jeffrey Harvey (Narrabri), 18 Nicholas Laurie (Scone), 21 Clint Aitken (Dungowan). Coach - Steve Haylen
Under-18s (Kick off 11.20am): 1 Brayden Reid (North Tamworth), 2 Mackenzie Shepherdson (Denman), 3 Jhett Butler (Dungowan), 4 Blair Maloney (Dungowan), 5 Harrison Freeman (Dungowan), 6 Trent Taylor (Dungowan), 7 Steven Dengate (Muswellbrook), 8 Kalab McMillian-Bassett (Narrabri), 9 Clay Frendin (Dungowan), 10 Jack Todd (Dungowan), 11 Cooper Harris (Dungowan), 12 Sam Wentworth (c -Dungowan), 13 Kobe Bone (North Tamworth), 14 Daniel Kelly (North Tamworth), 15 Zak Turnbull (Gunnedah), 16 Hugh Collins (Aberdeen), 17 Bailey Miller-Freebairn (Aberdeen), 22 Blake Ginman (Dungowan). Coach - Peter Stevens
Women (Kick off 12.50pm): 1 Taneika Landsborough (Guyra), 2 Grace Gallen (Scone), 3 Lucy Prudden (Murrurundi), 4 Shae Pemberton (Muswellbrook), 5 Alyce Walsh (Uralla), 6 Amy Barraclough(c -Uralla), 7 Joan O’Leary (Bendemeer), 8 Jessyca Morgan (Merriwa), 9 Robyn Broadbent (Uralla), 10 Amelia Tunamena (Glen Innes), 11 Brooke O’Halloran (Uralla), 12 Lauren Clarke (Boggabri), 13 Brooke Davis (Greta Branxton), 14 Taylah Blackadder (Merriwa), 15 Sarah Byrne (Glen Innes), 16 Gaynor Blackadder (Merriwa), 18 Alisa Tunamena (Glen Innes), 19. Zoe Darlington (South West Robins). Coach - Mick Schmiedel
Under-23 men (Kick off 2pm): 1 Will Nieuwenhuise (Singleton), 2 Cameron French (Aberdeen), 3 Hamish Wolfgang (Aberdeen), 4 Tristan Ward (Moree Boomerangs), 5 Dewayne Nicholls (Moree Boomerangs), 6 James Bradley (Singleton), 7 Mitchell Doring (c -Manilla), 8 Isaac Austin (Scone), 9. Matt Gillham (Boggabri), 10 James Ballinger (Inverell), 11 Jordan Mulherin (Denman), 12 Brady Benkovic (Denman), 13 Andrew Pritchard (Denman), 14 Mitchell Sheridan (North Tamworth), 15 Scott McIntyre (Armidale Rams), 16 Hayden Smith (Gunnedah), 18 Harry Douglass (Aberdeen), 19 Lincon Smith (Gunnedah). Coach - Peter Stevens