ORANGE CYMS will have no compassion for the Lithgow Workies’ injury and suspension worries when they go up against them tomorrow at Wade Park in the Group 10 final.
Despite losing last Sunday’s major semi-final to arch-rivals Orange Hawks, the Orange side will have a psychological advantage after beating Workies 18-8 in the final round of the competition and then 20-12 at Lithgow in the qualifying round.
Lithgow, after enduring a disrupted preparation, downed Oberon Tigers 34-18 in Saturday’s minor semi-final to make their way into Sunday’s season-defining clash.
CYMS’ captain coach Michael Sullivan said: “Lithgow have had their problems.”
“But they still have plenty of quality players in the side who will make the grand final qualifier very tough.
“They are a gritty side who will fight to the end.
“The loss to Hawks is behind us and we have been solely focussed on earning a spot in the grand final with a win.
“Lithgow must be getting sick of the sight of us as it will be the third time in under a month that we will have faced each other,” he joked.
Lithgow coach Graeme Osborne, after a worrying week, had better news with the return of fullback Adnan Saleh, who will give his side extra bite in attack.
Centre Scott Fittler and lock Ahmad Ellaz have indicated that they will be fit for the match.
Osborne said: “Adnan (Saleh) is a good team man and wanted to play against Oberon.
“We decided to give him another week to make sure that his injury had recovered.
“He adds a lot to our attack while Ahmad (Ellaz) will stiffen our defence.
“Scotty (Fittler) is an integral part of our team, he is one of those players that the other players draw confidence from.
“We have also stuck with young Luke Morris who had a blinder last week and he will come in off the bench.
“It is probably the best side we can put on the paddock with only Jonathan Van Veen and Corey Willmott missing.”
LITHGOW: Adnan Saleh, Blake Sheppeard, Jeremy Fittler, Scott Fittler, Brent Brogan, Taf Nicolas, Josh Howarth, Alex Byrne, Jamie Clark, Chris Rhodes, Brendan Van Veen, Steve Lang, Ahmad Ellaz, Luke Morris, Wade Newham-Jones