THERE’S more than bragging rights on the line when Orange Hawks and Orange CYMS clash in this Sunday’s Group 10 major semi-final.
Someone will get to host the grand final.
These two sides have never met in a Group 10 major semi-final before.
It will not be a run-of-the-mill local derby and Hawks captain-coach Tim Mortimer (pictured) knows it.
“It’s the biggest thing for a long time. I’m so excited just as a fan of rugby league,” Mortimer said.
“One of us gets to host the grand final. Obviously we want it for ourselves.”
Minor premiers Hawks had the weekend off while CYMS came from behind to down Lithgow 20-12 in Lithgow in the preliminary final.
It was the second week in a row CYMS had beaten Lithgow, the defending premiers, after downing them 18-8 in their final round of the regular season.
Mortimer knows this makes CYMS dangerous.
“They’ve beat them twice in a row now. They’ll take massive confidence out of that,” he said.
“CYMS have got a lot of finals experience, so they will be tough. Arty (Shead), TC (Terawhiti Cooper) and myself have played in a lot of finals, so we’ll be trying to call on that experience.”
Regardless of what happens this Sunday, the preliminary final will be played in Orange, as will the grand final.
Hawks may have had last weekend off but they didn’t take it easy.
They had an opposed session against the Bloomfield under 16s, who are on top of the Group 10 juniors ladder with one round to play.
“We helped each other out. I was really impressed with them,” Mortimer said of the young Bloomfield players.
“It was good to see what might be coming through in the future.”
There is always the possibility having a week off can slow a team’s momentum, but Mortimer is confident his players will be ready to face CYMS.
“I’m sure we’ll have our heads switched on,” Mortimer said.
“The derby is always big and everyone normally rises to that game. So being a major semi-final, it will only be bigger.”