Forwards must stand up
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
A PACT made by the Orara Valley forwards at the start of the year holds extra weight this weekend according to back-rower Tristan Hamilton-Giggins.
"For a long time people have thought that it's the backs that win the games for Orara," the Axeman said.
"The forwards basically made a pact that we needed to stand up as well.
"Last weekend against Macksville we didn't do that."
Coming up against the much vaunted Woolgoolga props in tomorrow's final, the Axemen forwards know that they can't afford to be loose through the middle like they were in last week's disappointing loss.
"It's going to be the same this week, Woopi have got bigger guys and we need to make sure we stop their roll on," the 24 year-old said.
"They've got guys like John Cross and Lee Harvey in the forwards and the importance of that pact between the forwards comes through."
Hamilton-Giggins crossed over from South Grafton at the start of the year with Matt Donovan and made a whirlwind start to the year.
He was selected for the Group and North Coast teams but a knee injury incurred mid season has left the tough defender champing at the bit for a game now he's made his return..
"At the start of the year it was unreal and I was playing some of the best football I've played," the Link Centre gym instructor explained.
"The second round has been pretty frustrating though as I think I've only played two games."
Having been on top for all of the year, the Axemen find themselves on the verge of maybe not even reaching the grand final but the Orara super-sub isn't feeling any extra pressure leading up to the match.
"I think it's an individual thing how you deal with it," he explained.
"You can look at it as if we're gone or whether we get to have another go.
"We can still make the gran d final but we've got one big hurdle to get over before we get there."
As a former Macksville player himself, Hamilton-Giggins would like nothing more than the chance to have a crack at his old mates in next weekend's grand final.