JAMES KING clears the ball for Lower Clarence against Northern United.
JAMES KING clears the ball for Lower Clarence against Northern United. Cathy Adams

Cougars are fired up

CASINO might be out of the NRRRL finals race but the men from the west are warming to this weekend’s challenge.

The Cougars host Byron Bay at Queen Elizabeth Park tomorrow and coach Dene Petty has them fired up.

Petty has bumped Sefa Silafau into the front row where he will team up with Jacob Ngauomo to form perhaps the most fearsome partnership in the competition.

“They are both large lads – Jake is like a bowling ball, they just can’t get a hold of him,” Petty said.

“Our boys are pumped up to take on the much-vaunted Byron pack. We have named our strongest team of the year and we can’t wait.”

Backing up his props will be Chad Pearce and Caleb McIntyre, who are no shrinking violets, but the Byron pack has become a relentless, hard-hitting machine.

“I hear their captain-coach is a serious player,” Petty said.

“So he is the first man we will be looking to close down.”

For a side that hasn’t won a premiership in 20 years and will be a spectator come finals time again, Petty was quite upbeat.

His men still have a mission.

“Our goal is to win the last five games and put some pride back in this jumper,” he said.

For Byron Bay, though, the match is crucial as they look ahead to playing Grafton Ghosts and arch-rivals Mullumbimby.

In other games tomorrow:

Ballina begin their tough run home when hosting Cudgen at Kingsford Smith Park. The Hornets have hit top gear of late but the Seagulls have most of their players back on deck including junior rep star Damien Sironen.

Evan Hickling returns to partner Roy Bell in the halves as Northern United look to continue their hot streak against the hapless Tweed Coast Raiders at Les Berger Field, Cabarita.

Grafton Ghosts – rocked by news that Danny Wicks won’t return for the rest of the season due to a knee injury – will play Murwillumbah at Grafton.

Lower Clarence host Kyogle in a battle for the wooden spoon.

All games kick off at 2.45pm.



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