Roosters and Sea Eagles still worry the top three
COACH Peter Barrett declared Nambucca Heads came of age with the 32-18 defeat of Macksville on July 12.
The teams meet again today in Group 2's first elimination semi-final and Barrett believes another win will have all rivals showing complete respect for the ability of his Roosters to go all the way.
"I'm a bit nervous about Macksville and like the boys, I realise they are going to make us tough it out completely if we are to win," Barrett said.
"Our last few efforts have probably been a bit more consistent than they have been but comparing the two, it's pretty equal.
"Two great packs of forwards and huge speed out wide.
"If we can win the rucks - and these days you have to dominate them and not just hold your own - we'll be on the right track."
Barrett has a not-so-secret weapon in centre Jay Melrose, easily the star Group 2 performer of 2015.
"He's my point of difference and it doesn't matter where I put him in the backline, he always gets over his opposite number," the coach said.
"His one-on-one defence can't be matched and he's always thinking two plays ahead which brings the side alive.
"Already he's scored 29 tries this year and I reckon there are a couple in him for this game."
Asked for a danger man who must be watched, Barrett nominated Sea Eagles centre Michael Tyerman.
"We must keep Mick under control," he said.
MINOR ELIMINATION SEMI FINAL
At Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads on Saturday
First: Nambucca Heads v Macksville at 2.30pm (Referee Ray Pettit)
Reserve: Orara Valley v Coffs Harbour at 12.45pm (Referee Craig Craigie)
Under-18: Nambucca Heads v Macksville at 11.30am (Referee Garry Stevenson)