Uni players told it’s time for graduation
SOUTHERN Cross University players want to look back on today's road trip to play Kempsey Cannonballs as the day they stopped being viewed as rugby rookies.
The outcome of this visit to Crescent Head will determine if the Marlins will be left languishing at the bottom of the premiership table or give themselves a realistic shot at issuing a challenge for a place in the finals.
Their dilemma came to a head with their inglorious showing in the local derby against Coffs Snappers and coach Dave Nicol has signalled any future willingness to forgive their trespasses has come to an end.
"Any team changes are due to injury, rather than because of the way they played against Coffs," he said.
"Everybody had a bad one so it would be unfair to single any individual out for the chop.
"But today is the last chance if we want to take the next step up.
"All are on notice, everybody gets one more chance to perform because our whole season may be on the line.
"The loser goes to the bottom of the table and I don't want that team to be us."
To say this has been a topsy-turvy year for every club is understatement.
Picking likely winners has needed a touch of irrational judgment with ground conditions, fitness, and above all, mindset and attitude, playing a bigger part than normal.
"If we want to win bad enough, we will win," Nicol said.
"I know they can do it and so do they.
"It's just that they need to remember the days of being the new club that everybody likes and looked after, ended last season.
"And after knocking over everybody except Coffs, there are more expectations on us.
"That also means turning up in the right frame of mind and being prepared to dominate the opponents."
Coffs Harbour has the bye.
SCU Marlins First XV
1. Daniel Wilson, 2. Cameron Smith, 3. Matthew Potts, 4. Joel Riddle, 5. Jack Cummins, 6. Chris McDonough, 7. Luke Reeves, 8. Josh McGinniskin, 9. Tim Yee, 10. Dave McCormack, 11. Tommy Gilbert, 12. Liam Sandstrom, 13. Ollie Sandstrom, 14. Simon Donald, 15. Josh Rayner. Coach: Dave Nicol.