Forget the last time.
That’s the message CSU coach Luke Kelly is sending to his players ahead of Saturday’s New Holland Agriculture Cup preliminary final against the Parkes Boars, at Parkes.
CSU demolished the Boars 82-21 just before the finals series began and with a big scoreline like that, you’d think Kelly would be brimming with confidence despite being on the road.
However, CSU are taking a cautious approach knowing that Parkes will be fielding a much stronger contest, which will decide which of the two outfits faces Narromine in the decider.
“We look forward to the next challenge. We’ve got Parkes in our way but we want to be in this grand final more than anything. It would mean the world to the whole club,” he said.
“I don’t think we can take anything away from that last game. That was not the Parkes team that we’re going to see this weekend, we know that team will be stacked, but it’s likewise for us so it should be two very good football teams going at it.
“We’ll see who’s willing to fight for the full 80 minutes and that’s who’s going to come out on top.”
Parkes were missing their key halves combination in the heavy loss to CSU and with their expected return this Saturday the students know exactly what to look out for.
“You look for Dan Ryan, that’s what you do,” Kelly said.
“You follow him around the paddock, shut him and their No.10, Lloyd Rogers, down and you go a long way towards winning the game.
“It’s not secret that [Rogers] runs the show for them.”
CSU booked their place in the preliminary final with a 46-32 win over the Mudgee Wombats.
A red card to the Wombats in the 15th minute gave CSU the man advantage but the students had to fight hard to get themselves on top.
It’s been an exciting season and a year of firsts for us and hopefully we can notch another one up.Luke Kelly
CSU’s depth came to the fore to help pull their side ahead from an 18-17 half-time deficit.
Meanwhile, over in Narromine, Parkes tried hard to bring down unbeaten minor premiers Gorillas but missed their first shot at a grand final appearance in a 17-3 loss.
Kelly said his bench was crucial.
“In that second half we utilised our full bench and I believe that will be an advantage for us this weekend. It’s a bench of players that are first grade standard that we want to get out there,” he said.
“That’s why we came home so strongly against Mudgee.
“Parkes are coming off a loss and we’re coming in off a win so you’d like to believe that we’re going in with more confidence and self-belief.
“Parkes are a great football team to be second on the ladder – and they’ve been there all season – but something special could happen for us this Saturday.”
CSU will be fielding an identical starting lineup and bench from their win over Wombats.
“It’s been a shorter, six-day turnaround from our last game but we’re all fully fit and carrying no injuries whatsoever. It’s been an exciting season and a year of firsts for us and hopefully we can notch another one up,” Kelly said.
The Parkes-CSU contest starts from 3.15pm.