DUBBO Kangaroos’ one-point win over Orange City in last Saturday’s Blowes Clothing Cup major semi-final has proven invaluable for more than just one reason.
As well as earning home-field advantage in next Saturday’s grand final, it has given the club the chance to sit back and assess a quartet of injuries to key players.
The halves pairing of Wade Richardson (calf) and Scott Burgess (back) will get the chance to rest their wounded bodies, and while both should be right for the decider, the same can’t be said for front-rowers Enoch To’ofohe and Max Ma’a Nelson.
To’ofohe has been all but ruled out after suffering a fractured arm in last Saturday’s encounter while Nelson is awaiting the results of scans on a possible fracture to his wrist.
The potential absence of both giants is a concern for coach Paul Hennock, who admits he is glad to have some extra time up his sleeve to prepare for the grand final against either Orange City or their cross-town rivals Orange Emus.
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“We’ve come out of last week a bit battered, but that’s the good thing about getting the win last weekend, we’ve got time,” Hennock said.
“I don’t think ‘Nox’ will play, which is a shame because he’s been good for our rotation through both second grade and first grade.
“Max is also a bit of a worry. We won’t know much until we get the results back to see whether he has a fracture or not. Hopefully he doesn’t and he’ll be right but if he does we’ll have to see what happens. It’s easy to say it’s just one game to get through but he’s a front-rower and it will be up to him.
“You don’t want to risk a young bloke’s future with the potential of a serious injury but we’ll get medical advice and consult with him and see what he wants to do if that’s the case.”
A fortnight ago when the two Orange sides met in the qualifying final, Hennock correctly predicted City’s finals experience would get them over the line. But he isn’t as sure what the outcome of tomorrow’s match-up will be.
“It depends what Emus have taken from their last meeting. Finals footy is different to your regular season games and you can’t get away with the same things you can during the year. If they’ve learned from what didn’t work for them two weeks ago then they’re definitely a chance.
“City are a good side though. They obviously went pretty close to beating us here last week and they are gunning for three titles in a row so they won’t want to give that away easily.
“Hopefully both of them play their grand finals this week and give it to each other. It would make things that little bit easier for us next week if they do.”