ATTEMPTING to conjure up a plan to help his Parkes outfit beat the unbeatable, there’s a good chance Boars coach Trevor Whitaker has had a few sleepless nights ahead of the Blowes Clothing Cup’s major semi-final blockbuster.
In fact, Whitaker is likely to need more than counting sheep to get any rest before Parkes’ game with the all-conquering Orange City on Saturday.
“Where?” the premiership-winning coach laughed when asked just where can the Boars get on top of the Lions when they meet at Pride Park, the winner earning the right to host this year’s grand final.
Whitaker seemed a little lost.
But given Orange City’s streak is now 36 matches without loss, he isn’t the only Blowes Clothing Cup figure still searching for answers.
“They’re a complete side,” Whitaker adds.
“You think you can target one area and try and get on top there but they don’t panic. They play for the full 80 minutes.
“They’re not a side you can target specifically because they don’t have any weaknesses.
“It’s going to be an extremely tough game.”
One Parkes is desperate to win, however.
Claiming a break-through premiership in 2011 with an extra-time win over Narromine at Cale Oval, the Boars would love nothing more than to host a grand final at Northparkes Oval.
To do so, the enormity of the task at hand is not lost on the Boars.
It is, however, matched by the level of desire in this year’s squad, spearheaded late in the 2013 regular season thanks to the return of the best No.9 in the competition, Johnny Rathbone.
“It’d be a big thing,” Whitaker said at the possibility of hosting a grand final.
“We’ve never hosted a game like that before, it’d be enormous.
“We want it, but by the same token we know Orange City will want it as well. They haven’t been beaten in two years.”
Try-scoring whiz Marika Korovui is out of Saturday’s clash, while Ben Ryan is a question mark ahead of the game.
Whitaker was prepared to give Ryan up until kick-off to prove his fitness.
Given the importance of Ryan to the already impressive Parkes pack, Whitaker was hopeful the Boars would be able to muscle up against the Orange City forwards on Saturday.
A job easier said than done.
“Hopefully we can get some forward momentum and set up a bit of a platform for our backs to score tries,” he said.
Saturday’s major semi-final will kick-off at 3.15pm at Pride Park.
Colts start at 10.50am.