Austbrokers Canberra CRC R18 Preview
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v West Belconnen Warriors, 3pm Saturday at Seears Workwear Oval
The defending premiers enter this weekend’s match with a simple equation. Win, and they are a chance of making the finals. Lose, and they can kiss their season goodbye.
However, after beating the Queanbeyan Blues 31-28 last weekend, the whole club is “buzzing” according to Warriors prop Connor Brebner.
“After getting over the Blues, it’s given us a lot of confidence for us,” Brebner said. “We thought we were done but then after beating the Blues we’re really getting up there.
“If we turn up with the right attitude we can beat the Kangaroos.”
Sitting outside the top four on for and against, the Warriors will need either Tuggeranong or Yass to drop points even if they do beat the Kangaroos.
However, the Kangaroos enter Saturday’s match on the back of a surprise loss to the Woden Valley Rams.
With finals starting next week, the Kangaroos will want to return to form quickly but will be without the influential duo of Aaron Gorrell and Brent Crisp with the pair set to make their return next weekend.
Gungahlin Bulls v Woden Valley Rams, 3pm Saturday at Gungahlin Enclosed Ovals
The Woden Valley Rams will be looking to maintain their recent form as they travel north to take on the Gungahlin Bulls.
Having faced both Queanbeyan clubs in the last fortnight, the Rams narrowly lost to the Blues before upsetting the Kangaroos last weekend.
Having secured one of the upsets of the season, the Rams playing group is brimming with confidence according to Woden coach Ash Barnes.
“The boys are really happy with the performance on the weekend and getting the result,” Barnes said. “I thought they showed a lot of resilience to dig themselves out of a big hole when they were 20-0 down against a quality side.”
Having seen his side’s improved performances for the past month, Barnes has been particularly impressed by their newfound consistency.
“I’ve always seen the potential in this side,” Barnes said. “The average age of this side is 20.5 and with that comes a little bit of inconsistency and that’s been furthered by injuries.”
The Bulls on the other hand has experience injuries more than any other clubs. Having started the season brightly, injuries to key personnel has seen the Bulls slide down the ladder but they will be hoping to finish the year on a bright note as preparations for 2018 begin.
Queanbeyan Blues v Tuggeranong Bushrangers, 3pm Saturday at Seiffert Oval
The Tuggeranong Bushrangers will be attempting to block out the different scenarios surrounding the finals race as they attempt to beat the Blues this weekend.
Having thrashed the Sharks 74-12 last weekend, it is unlikely that the Bushrangers will be caught on for and against, meaning that a win should be enough to see them play finals.
Tuggeranong coach Justin Giteau is taking that simple approach towards his sides monster clash with the Blues.
“If we win we’ll play finals, if we don’t we won’t,” Giteau said. “We’ll train like we would any other week and hopefully on the weekend we’ll put in a good enough performance to get into the semis.”
Hoping to block their path to the finals are the Queanbeyan Blues who are coming off their first loss of the season.
Having been beaten by the West Belconnen Warriors last weekend, the Blues will be determined to return to the winners circle before their major semifinal clash against the Kangaroos.
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs v Yass Magpies, 2pm Sunday at Workers Arena
The Yass Magpies have the luxury of knowing their finals fate before taking on the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs on Saturday.
Currently leading both Tuggeranong and West Belconnen by one point, the Magpies could travel up the Hume Highway on Sunday morning already knowing if they have made the finals.
Yass center Willie Peace is confident in Yass’ finals chances.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in our team, that’s from top grade right through to under 18’s – we’ve got a lot of depth,” Peace said. “I’ve got confidence that we are going to do the job, that’s what we set out to do and we’ve been doing that right throughout the year.”
Yass have the luxury of knowing that if either Tuggeranong or West Belconnen lose they are guaranteed a finals place but the Magpies have their goals set higher than simply making the finals.
“We’re aiming for the top,” said Peace. “We set the standard high and that’s what we’ve been about all year.”
Goulburn, on the other hand, have a mathematical chance of making the finals should both Tuggeranong and West Belconnen lose.
However, with a much worse for and against, the Bulldogs would need to turn around a 145 point difference to overtake Tuggeranong and claim fourth place.