TTM Canberra Raiders Cup:
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Goulburn Workers Bulldogs on Sunday at 3:00pm at Seiffert Oval
The Queanbeyan Kangaroos and the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs will battle it out this Sunday afternoon to see which side progresses through to face the Queanbeyan Blues in the decider.
The Blues secured their place in the Grand Final after demolishing the Roos 43-10 last weekend, whilst the Bulldogs kept their title aspirations alive with a 16-10 victory over the West Belconnen Warriors a week prior.
The Roos, the 2013 premiers, were particularly disappointing last week however centre Daniel Watt says that the side is confident they can bounce back from the out of character loss.
“We let ourselves down last week against the Blues,” Watt said. “We were feeling really good in the sheds before the game but the Blues came out and played unbelievably well right from the start.
“We were a bit shell-shocked after that and struggled to get out of second gear. The week off didn’t help us at all; our legs were heavy and our lungs were burning.
“Our second half effort was better but we were unable to come back from a disappointing performance in the first half.
“After the game our Coach Aaron Gorrell was very disappointed and embarrassed. He said it was the worst performance that he’s seen by the Roos in the five years that he’s been here.
“The loss has woken us all up. We’ve been getting away with wins all year and had become a bit complacent I guess. We’re confident that we can turn it around and have had a really good week at training.
“We had another discussion again on Tuesday at training but now we’ve moved on and we’re focused on the job ahead against Goulburn.”
In a tough, grinding and physical encounter played in quagmire-like conditions against West Belconnen a fortnight ago, Goulburn will head into the match after a week’s break.
Goulburn last featured in a Grand Final in 2009, where they defeated West Belconnen to be crowned premiers.
After a few years in and out of the semi-finals, the Bulldogs, led by five-eighth Mick Picker in his first season as Captain-Coach, will test the Roos right until the 80th minute due to their hard working forward pack and the potency of their outside backs, namely former NRL player Michael Bani.
“We know that Goulburn are a tough team,” Watt said. “They’ve got a lot of experience and will have a lot of support from the town.
“They will really be enjoying this time of the year because they haven’t been in the Grand Final for a couple of years now. They will definitely be hungry and we need to match that.”
In their previous two encounters in the regular season, both sides shared a 28 all draw in Round 4 however Queanbeyan enjoyed an 18-10 victory in Round 11.
“You can take a little bit of confidence out of the fact that we’ve beaten them earlier in the year but when it comes to semi-finals it’s a different type of game where past encounters don’t mean much at all,” Watt said.
“It’s a matter of who shows up best on the day.”