Orange City Lions will host Parkes Boars in momentous mid-season clash on Saturday

RETURNING STAR: Keegan Harding's (pictured) return to Orange City's No.10 jersey is a timely one, after Jackson Coote's injury. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

RETURNING STAR: Keegan Harding's (pictured) return to Orange City's No.10 jersey is a timely one, after Jackson Coote's injury. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Orange City has won two games in a row and will look to hit the trifecta when they host Parkes Boars on Saturday.

With a win Orange City will leapfrog Parkes and land in fifth position, which represents the last available finals spot.

Although fifth position would be good, Orange City coach Steve Hamson said he’d rather climb to fourth spot.

“Ideally, we’re looking to come fourth so we get a home final,” Hamson said.

Approaching the halfway point of the season, Orange City might consider this weekend’s fixture a ‘must win’ if it’s wanting to finish inside the top four.

In Orange City’s last match against Mudgee Wombats, five-eighth Jackson Coote suffered a broken nose which will keep him on the sidelines for the next three weeks.

Replacing Coote on Saturday will be Keegan Harding who’s coming back from an injury that saw him out of action for a month.

This shapes as a timely return for the Lions as they won’t lose much in the No.10 spot.

Orange has dealt with casualties since the beginning of the year and with the injury toll now sitting at 10, Hamson spoke about how his team is adjusting.

“Everyone’s dealing with it,” Hamson said.

“It gives other people opportunities. We’ve got two colts boys playing in Mitch Winslade and AJ McNiven and we’ve got Joe Alexander in the second row who did an outstanding job last-start.”

It won’t only be the home side buoyed by confidence as Parkes is coming off a convincing win in its last game against Dubbo Rhinos.

The win was crucial for the Boars as they dropped back-to-back home games the two weeks prior.

With Parkes playing under first-year coach Israel Symington and potentially playing differently than in previous years, Hamson isn’t focusing much on what Boars will do.

“If you study your opposition too much you can lose focus of what you need to do,” Hamson said.

Not worrying about his opposition has allowed Hamson to focus more on what his side needs to get right on Saturday.

“We need to get our set pieces right to give our backs half a chance,” he said.

“We’ve also got to retain the ball for extensive periods of time and make sure our scrum is strong because it’s been on the front foot lately.”

Orange City hosts Parkes at Pride Park from 3.15pm.

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