Bluedogs out to avenge costly loss last year
RICHMOND Rovers and Bangalow will be fighting to keep their semi-final hopes alive when they meet in the third and final round of Far North Coast soccer's Tursa Anzac Cup tonight.
Rovers have the home advantage for the 8pm kick-off against a fired-up Bangalow looking for an upset.
"Rovers knocked us out of the semis at this stage last year and we want to make up for that," Bluedogs coach Joel Rudgley said.
"We need a win so there's no point in sitting back, we may as well throw everything at them and try to make our own luck."
Striker Thiago Priori will be missing from the Bluedogs line-up after being sent off in their 4-1 loss to Byron Bay last week.
Holding midfielder Christian Brown will come in, allowing Rudgley to move forward into a more attacking role behind dangerous striker Taha Belaazziz.
With flanker Ryan O'Connor also looking dangerous in recent outings and a solid defence led by Ricky Small and Dustin Rudgley, the Bluedogs have the potential to trigger an upset.
Rovers will run on the same side that went down 2-1 to Thistles last weekbut coach Brian Bugdenwas still happy with their performance.
"We might have lost, but our intensity was high and we've made a good start to the season overall," he said.
The energetic Luke McWaide will play a lone striker role, but it's the pace of wingers Andrew Casa-grande and Jonathan See that will stretch the Bluedogs' defence.
One other game will be played tonight, with Cup holders Thistles hot favourites to seal their place in the semis with a home win over Lennox Head.
While the Blues have Zac Wilson suspended and doubts over Max Hospers, they should prove too strong for a Sharks outfit that has conceded 12 goals in its two losses.
"Complacency is our biggest worry, we may have won our first two games but we haven't wrapped up a semi spot yet, so we still have to go out there and perform to our best," Blues coach Rod Lees said.
Kick-off is 7pm.