IF there’s a player on the field tomorrow afternoon who knows about big games, it’s Orange CYMS fullback Tim Bassmann.
So when the two-time premiership-winning fullback, 2012 Group 10 Player of the Year and Group 10 and Western Division representative says tomorrow’s major semi-final against Orange Hawks at Wade Park is the biggest he’s played in, you listen.
“I don’t think so,” Bassmann fired when asked if he has played in a bigger match.
And that’s coming from a player who’s starred in the last three Group 10 grand finals.
“This is bigger than all of them.”
Hawks earned the right to be first team into the Group 10 major semi-final via a final round 38-28 victory over the Cowra Magpies, securing the club’s first minor premiership since 1999 courtesy of the 10-point win.
Making his long-awaited comeback from a broken hand in the clash, Hawks halfback Scott Rosser said the two blues were ready for the game, set to be played in front of a bumper Wade Park crowd from 2.10pm.
“The week off was good for us,” Rosser said.
“We got together and had a training run on the Sunday. We’ve trained well, prepared well ... it’s been a pretty good week.”
Hawks have taken the spoils in the first two derbies of 2013, winning in round one 18-10 and then again 18-14 when the two met in June.
Both were tough matches, and Rosser was expecting the third encounter to be just as physical.
“There’s still a bit of niggle, but that’s good,” he said.
“It’s just at home, it’s Orange versus Orange, you just want to win more.”
In the midst of a run of poor starts that includes giving Cowra a 22-point head start in the final round, Rosser said it was important Hawks started tomorrow’s clash well.
“The way (CYMS) are playing, if we give them even 10 points it’ll be hard to come back from, let alone 22,” he said.
“That’s what we’ve talked about all week, getting the start right and then just building on that.”
Gunning for a fourth straight grand final berth, Bassmann’s creed was in line with Rosser’s.
“It’s all in the start,” he added.
ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Epa Navale, 3 Ali Beale, 4 Dom Maley, 5 Semisi Katoa, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Mick Sullivan (c/c), 8 Des Knight, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Brent Colley, 11 Brett Sargent, 12 Riley Law, 13 Matt Penny.
ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Joe Lasagavibau, 2 Alofi Mataele, 3 Brock McGarity, 4 Jared Brodrick, 5 Justin Howarth, 6 Tim Mortimer (c-/), 7 Scott Rosser, 8 Terawhiti Cooper, 9 Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill, 10 Arty Shead, 11 Todd Barrow, 12 Chris Anau, 13 Brenton Winnell.