Here we come.
That’s the message defending Blowes Clothing Cup premiers Forbes has for the rest of the 2018 finals combatants ahead of Sunday’s minor semi-final, which doubles as a date with old foes Cowra.
The Eagles stunned Forbes in the final regular season round to earn hosting rights for Sunday’s sudden death clash at the Cowra Rugby Ground, but Platypi skipper Jack Hammond admitted his side battled complacency leading into the 46-33 loss to the red men.
That’s definitely not the case this weekend.
And although Forbes has finished the regular season in fourth place on the ladder, Hammond expects the champs to have say in this series.
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“We’ve trained hard since February to get into the finals … that was the first goal. Now we’re here and we’ve started playing some pretty good footy, we know we belong here and we’ll see what happens Sunday,” Hammond said, adding the week off between the final round and the finals has been a welcome one for Forbes.
“I think the whole comp was happy with that after the end of a brutal season. I think it’s made us hungry for this weekend.”
The Platypi head into Sunday’s clash at Cowra minus Charlie French though.
Initial fears pegged the NSW Country prop as having torn a pectoral muscle but, Hammond said, scans have revealed an injured AC joint in his left shoulder. French will still miss the rest of 2018.
Mahe sets the pace for how the game will be played.Forbes skipper Jack Hammond.
Losing a player the calibre of French will impact the Forbes scrum, that much is certain.
But Hammond believes experience, particularly in the big games, will work in the Platypi’s favour.
And there’s a couple of players in key positions the Forbes skipper says will lead from the front.
“Mahe (Fangupo) sets the pace for how the game will be played and Simon (Uphill), off the back of that, his passing and kicking game ... I think those two have big games and we’ll fall in behind them,” Hammond said.
“And we’ve still got experience in our pack with the likes of Jarrod Hall and Andrew Hubbard.”
Cowra leads the head-to-head ledger in 2018 after a 29-7 victory in the first round, while Forbes won 20-15 in round two before the Eagles’ 13-point win a couple of weeks ago.
Kick-off is at 3.15pm on Sunday at Cowra.