The Glen Innes Magpies under 18s are gearing up for a home semi-final berth.
The side finished their season in third spot and take on a Boars team who they haven’t beaten this year.
Midway through the season the junior squad were hampered by injuries but coach Gavin Peterson said they are back on deck and ready to give the title a tilt this Sunday.
“We are pretty much back to full-strength now which is great,” he said.
“It is something we haven't had for a long time really, there always seems to be one of our important members missing through injury or other commitments.
“Mainly injuries, we had a couple of bad injuries halfway through the year but it looks like we have our full-strength squad which is good timing.”
Their last clash saw a low-scoring affair – a 10-8 loss – against the Moree Boomerangs and Peterson said his team are aiming to build on that performance.
“Even though we had last week off I thought the Boomerangs game was a good lead-in into the finals,” he said.
“We are looking to play very similar to how we did in that game but just control the ball a bit better.”
Lachlan Chard has been the target for teams across the competition this year and Peterson is expecting the same reception for the representative forward this Sunday.
“I think they all know who he is and what he is capable of so they are starting to target him a bit,” he said.
“He has been handling it well but we have been working on a couple of things to help him with that so it will be interesting to see how that goes this weekend.”
Another key figure in the Magpies’ title tilt is front-rower Bayden Grob.
“He is certainly the guy we are looking at to lead our forwards against theirs,” Peterson said.
“The forwards, nine times out of 10, dictate the result so it is important we can put our foot forward with our forward pack and he will be the one leading the way.”
The first minor-semi final will begin at 10am with the league tag match between Inverell and the Boomerangs.
The 18s between Glen and the Boars will follow before the reserve grade clash between Narwan and the Boars.
The A grade fixture will round out the day’s matches.