:NSW Cup Rugby League - Newtown V Mounties at GIO Stadium, Saturday July 18th 2015. Digital Image by Robb Cox ©nrlphotos.com

Mounties v New Zealand Warriors: Competition heavyweights clash

St Marys Leagues Stadium, Saturday 29 August, 3pm

In a thrilling 2015 VB NSW Cup finals preview, Mounties host the Warriors in what certainly is the most anticipated match of the round.

The Wyong v Wentworthville match will finish just minutes before kickoff, and the score line of that game will determine how much Mounties will have to win by if they are any chance of taking out the minor premiership.

However, with a top-four spot secured, Mounties coach Steve Antonelli insists that the number-one position on the ladder is not their major focus.

“We haven’t spoken about [the minor premiership] too much,” says Antonelli.

“We’re in the top four, so we haven’t spoken much on where we will end up on the table.”

Mounties have an incredibly impressive attacking record, topping the league with a whopping average of 29 points per game.

Defence is where they let themselves down in the middle of the year, but it has improved in recent times for the team that has only lost one match since round 17.

Antonelli made it clear that defence will be the primary focus heading into the game against the Warriors.

“The last three weeks we’ve set ourselves goals defensively, our focus [this week] is on defence,” says Antonelli.

“If you can defend you’re halfway there to winning the game. In the last six weeks, our individual defence has improved 50 per cent, we’re doing a lot of work on it.”

The Warriors are still mathematically a chance of winning the minor premiership, but it is highly unlikely, as they would have to win by a significant margin and hope other results go their way.

Remarkably, the Warriors are in fourth position and have a -16 for-and-against record, which highlights their inconsistency and means they will want to put in a solid performance this week to build confidence for the finals.