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Yass Magpies v Gungahlin Bulls, 3pm Saturday at Walker Park
The Yass Magpies and Gungahlin Bulls will both aim to return to the winners’ circle when they cross swords at Walker Park in this week’s live-streamed game.
The Magpies will look to make amends for a narrow 36-28 loss to the second-placed Queanbeyan Kangaroos.
It followed another mountainous challenge in which they succumbed to a 52-6 thrashing at the hands of the undefeated Queanbeyan Blues.
Perched in third on the ladder on 19 points, Yass has an eye on returning to winning ways as they look to secure a finals berth.
Gungahlin, who have been riddled by injuries this season, enjoyed a bye on the weekend after being put to the sword in a 48-22 belting at the hands of the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs the week prior.
Gungahlin centre Brad Scholes is well aware of the difficult challenge the Magpies are set to pose.
“They’re always tough,” he said.
“They’re a country team, so they’re always tough. They never give in in the forwards especially. They love their go-forward and they like to get quick play-the-balls.”
But he has faith in his side’s chances.
“I reckon we can beat Yass,” Scholes said. “We got pretty close last time and we beat them twice last year, so hopefully we can pip them.”
Having made the semi-finals last year, the eighth placed Bulls are out of the finals race for 2017.
Tuggeranong Bushrangers v Belconnen United Sharks, 2:15pm Saturday at Greenway
A similar scenario will carry out in the Tuggeranong Bushrangers’ clash with the Belconnen United Sharks at Greenway.
Tuggeranong, who sits in fourth on the ladder on 18 points, will look to bolster their finals hopes in their match with the last-placed Sharks who have just one 2017 win under their belt.
The Bushrangers clinched a 34-18 victory over the West Belconnen Warriors on Sunday, who sit one place below them in fifth on the ladder on the same amount of points.
Tuggeranong coach Justin Giteau was pleased with his side’s performance.
“It’s easily the proudest I’ve been of them all year,” Giteau said. “A lot of guys were injured and they showed a lot of courage to keep playing.”
Meanwhile, the Sharks are licking their wounds after a 54-4 thumping at the hands of the Bulldogs and will look to turn in a much more inspired performance on Saturday.
Woden Valley Rams v Queanbeyan Kangaroos, 3pm Saturday at Phillip District
A premiership contender will also square off with a competition battler when the Woden Valley Rams and Queanbeyan Kangaroos meet at Phillip District.
Floundering in seventh on the ladder on 13 points, the Rams are no longer a chance to qualify for the finals and are set to face a Kangaroos side flying high in second on the ladder on 28 points.
The Rams will be out to produce a similar performance to the one that saw them nearly upset the Blues, while the Kangaroos are looking for their fifth straight win.
Having already sewed up a top-two finish, the Roos are intent on building momentum in the lead-up to finals footy.
West Belconnen Warriors v Queanbeyan Blues, 3pm Sunday at Raiders Belconnen
This week it will be the West Belconnen Warriors’ turn to confront the so far unstoppable Queanbeyan Blues.
Terry Campese’s Blues stunning run has seen the ladder-leaders climb to 32 points as they start preparing for the run into the finals.
Their 20-14 win over the Rams on the weekend was preceded by a 52-6 smashing of the Magpies.
The fifth-placed Warriors will do their best to knock off Queanbeyan in a sustained quest to clinch a finals berth.
“I suppose we’ve got our back against the wall,” said Warriors coach Troy Thompson. “If we want to be in the finals we have to play these teams anyway so it’s going to be a pretty good game.”
Although West Belconnen are on equal points with the fourth-placed Bushrangers, the Warriors’ task to make the finals doesn’t get any easier as they have the Kangaroos next weekend.
The Goulburn Workers Bulldogs are set for a bye.