ORANGE CYMS may be one win away from a fourth consecutive Group 10 premier league grand final appearance, but captain-coach Mick Sullivan knows his side’s next 80 minutes will be the toughest of their season.
The green and golds host defending premiers Lithgow Workies at Wade Park tomorrow afternoon in the 2013 season’s preliminary final.
The two already share a rare rivalry.
And their last meeting has done nothing to douse that intensity.
Lithgow butchered a 12-0 lead to go down 20-12 in week one of the semi-finals at Tony Luchetti Sportsground, CYMS’ second win in as many weeks over Workies following a final-round 18-8 triumph.
Out of the spiteful clash, Lithgow lost two of their key forwards.
Skipper Jono Van Veen was banned for 16 months while backrow partner Corey Willmott had his 2013 season cut short thanks to a five-week suspension for a tackle on Sullivan.
Despite two of Lithgow’s most damaging forwards done for the year, Sullivan is anticipating Workies will still look to dominate the ruck against CYMS.
“We’ve got to match them up front,” Sullivan fired.
“That’s how they play, but I’m confident. Our pack has really stood up this season.
“Lithgow beat us three times last season so hopefully we can repay the favour this year.”
Last week’s 12-11 loss was a hard one for Sullivan to swallow.
Up by one point following a successful field goal attempt with three minutes and 20 seconds left on the clock in the major semi-final, Sullivan’s men looked headed for a fourth grand final visit in as many years.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
“We’ve got to see it as a positive though. If we’re able to come out and win this game then we’ll keep our match fitness. With the weather the way it’s meant to be, I’d prefer to play than have the week off,” Sullivan said, with a predicted 21 degrees celsius tomorrow.
“It’s no secret, I coach to win and every year our goal is to make the grand final. You’ve got to be in it to win it.
“Having said that, we’ve still got a job to do and our primary focus is Lithgow on Sunday.”
Centre Dom Maley is in extreme doubt for tomorrow’s game, with Kyran Bubb his likely replacement in the three-quarter line should the Group 10 representative not recover from a calf strain.
Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 2.10pm.
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 Brent Colley, 9 Sam Hill, 10 Des Knight, 11 Riley Law, 12 Brett Sargent, 13 Matt Penny