The Tenterfield Tigers will face the Inglewood Roosters in the Border Rugby League grand final on Saturday, August 26 at Inglewood, and captain/coach Brendan Minns feels the Tigers’ defence will probably dictate the outcome.
He was pleased with the team’s defence against Killarney at Rugby League Park on Saturday, where the Tigers came away with the win 22-16.
“It’s the one thing we’ve been wanting to improve, and on Saturday it went well,” he said.
The Tigers were playing with the strong wind in the first half and aimed to keep Killarney in its own end for most of the play. The strategy worked with the Tigers already in a good position at half time.
Minns said defence-wise the team worked well even with the side reduced to 12 at one stage when a player was sin-binned, although Killarney took advantage with a try.
Minns said the team needs to come out firing at the whistle in both the first and second halves, otherwise Inglewood will pounce.
The squad of 22 to face Inglewood is almost finalised with fitness queries hanging over three players.
Jacob Harding faces the judiciary on Wednesday night for a dangerous tackle charge. An early guilty plea cops a one week suspension, so Minns said the Tigers will probably fight the charge.
During the game the tackle drew a penalty but a complaint from Killarney has brought the matter to the judiciary.
If Harding doesn’t play it will be a substantial loss to the Tigers, Minns said, given Harding’s recent form playing second or front row.
“His performance in previous weeks has been outstanding,” Minns said.
Minns would have preferred the home ground advantage for the grand final, but said the momentum the team has built up with its last two wins is to its benefit.
“We believe in ourselves and we know we’ve got the ability to win. Our attack will handle itself. We have a lot of handy footballers who can score tries from anywhere on the field. If we show up defensively, we’ll win the game.”
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