Mustangs confident ahead of semi final showdown
A SHOT at a grand final qualifying match with Ballina next week is on the line when the second- and third-ranked sides meet tomorrow in the Ladbrokes Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
The Murwillumbah Mustangs will host Casino at Stan Sercombe Oval at 2.45pm in the weekend's second finals game.
There is plenty at stake - the winner will go through to a grand final qualifier, while the losing side will face an elimination final against Cudgen or Tweed Coast.
Murwillumbah will go into the contest as slight favourites, thanks to home-field advantage and plenty of confidence after finishing the home-and-away season strongly.
The contest will be strongly influenced by both forward packs, with control across the middle of the field vital to victory tomorrow afternoon.
Mustangs enforcer Bailey Crompton said he and his fellow forwards had spoken at training this week about the important role they were going to play throughout the finals series.
"We have talked about the role of the forwards this week," Crompton said.
"It will all be about getting quick play-the-balls.
"Your mindset changes a bit coming into semi-final football. You have to do things a lot crisper and you have to stay focused for the full 80 minutes."
Crompton and his forwards have been impressive throughout the season, laying the platform for the backs to attack at will.
This weekend's clash will be won and lost by who is able to control the football the best, Crompton said.
"Completion rate will definitely win us this game," he said.
"Casino are the type of football side that if you give them too much possession, they can score a heap of points on you."
One thing that is not an issue for the Mustangs is confidence. The side thumped Mullumbimby in their last game by 80 points.
It was a slick performance from a side that believe they are finding form at the right time in the season.
"We finished the season pretty strong and we are really starting to find our rhythm and building into the finals," Crompton said.
The first game of the day at Stan Sercombe Oval will be the LLT Premiership clash between Tweed Coast and Casino.