HE’S compared himself to the retirement-shy John Farnham, now evergreen Orange Hawks prop Jason Greenhalgh is pleading with those currently writing the two blues off to have a little faith.
Hawks have limped into Saturday’s Group 10 premier league elimination semi-final clash against Bathurst Panthers at Wade Park on the back of two straight losses, the latest defeat a worrying 36-8 final round mauling at the hands of the men in black last week.
Far from convinced his side’s a spent force in the 2014 premiership race, Greenhalgh believes today’s do-or-die encounter will unearth a highly motivated two blues.
And if that’s the case, don’t expect to hear the 39-year-old mutter the ‘R’ word anytime soon.
“We’ll see how this year ends up,” he smiled.
“I’ve said I’m going to retire a couple of times, so I just don’t say it anymore. I’m a bit like John Farnham.”
Greenhalgh has come from the clouds to start in Tim Mortimer’s side for today’s game.
Partnering the returning Arty Shead up front, the former Eugowra Golden Eagle says while ever he still enjoys the game and can remain competitive he’ll continue to mix it with the best in one of the more physical competitions in Country Rugby League.
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Even if that is in the front row.
“It’s a natural progression isn’t it? I’m getting a bit slow to play anywhere else,” he said.
“It’s a challenge though, especially now it’s all about holding them up and slowing the play the ball down.
“(Panthers prop) Brent Seager last week is certainly a big boy and trying to get up top and slow him down without numbers in there makes life a little bit difficult.”
And Greenhalgh was expecting that challenge to be even greater on Saturday.
Very aware Panthers hold the crucial momentum leading into the must-win semi-final, Greenhalgh is adamant, with his side’s season on the line, motivation won’t be lacking for Hawks.
“It’d be hard not to (be motivated) at this time of the year,” Greenhalgh said.
“(Finishing fourth) makes life a little bit harder. This will be our only game at home, but you’ve got to beat the best to be the best, don’t you.
“If we’re not motivated we certainly don’t deserve to be out on the park.”
Naming a full strength line-up with Mitch Hurford also returning at hooker, captain-coach Tim Mortimer said he was confident of a far more polished showing from his side on Saturday.
“We’ve done it before. We’ve knocked off everyone (this year),” he said, Hawks winning nine games in succession mid-year.
“But it means we have to play for 80 minutes. Playing for 50 or 60 isn’t good enough anymore.”
Saturday's game kicks off at 2.30pm at Wade Park.
ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Joe Lasagavibau, 2 Justin Howarth, 3 Tim Mortimer, 4 Jared Brodrick, 5 Alofi Mataele, 6 Brock McGarity, 7 Keegan Harding, 8 Arty Shead, 9 Mitch Hurford, 10 Jason Greenhalgh, 11 Chris Anau, 12 Lawrence Fogg, 13 Travis Bubb.