The Tenterfield Tigers are gearing up for a much-improved Ashford Roosters team when they return to the park this Saturday.
The Tigers haven’t played since June 21 when they beat Bingara 54-nil but will be aiming to continue where they left off against an Ashford side coming off a draw with Warialda.
Captain-coach Brendan Minns remains under an injury cloud but is expecting a full squad.
“As far as I am aware at this stage, no one has told me they can't play but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I don't find out Saturday morning that two other blokes are out,” he said.
“I am fairly well certain that we should have close to a full squad.”
Ashford’s recent form has indicated they are the darkhorses of the Group 19 second division competition.
The Roosters sit on 12 points and just outside a top four spot on the table and Minns is expecting them to come out firing against his side.
“When we played them [in round four] I thought they were quite a good side, they just didn't play to their strengths,” he said.
“We have got to hit the ground running straight up.
“The first five to 10 minutes is going to be key for us because Ashford played quite well against Warialda so we have got to start well.”
In the league tag fixture, the remaining rounds of the competition will prove crucial for the Tigers.
They sit equal on points with Ashford and will be aiming to build momentum.
Coach Wayne Minns said his team have been working hard in their time off and are ready to make a run into the finals.
“Things are pretty good, we have just being working on the little things trying to get them right and hopefully that will be what we need.
“I think we will be a little bit rusty first up but I am banking on the girls warming up to the game and as the game gets on, try and take control.
“That is going to be the main thing – ball control and no brain snaps.
“Other than that we will virtually run this side around, probably use a bit of our youth and work them around a bit and that will hopefully see us in good stead. We have a couple of the juniors stepping up which is good.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.