Filisione Pauta will return to the Dubbo Kangaroos side for tomorrow s clash with CSU Bathurst.WITH one month of the regular season the Dubbo Kangaroos are in pole position to finish the Blowes Clothing Cup minor premiership.
But with the competition’s surprise packets Orange Emus level on points, and Orange City nipping at their heels, any slip-up over the next month could turn the competition on its head.
The Roos face CSU Bathurst at No.1 Oval tomorrow in a clash back-rower Brad Pugh believes will be vital to his team’s chances of finishing on top of the ladder come the end of round 18.
“We’re right at the business end of things now and while we’ve done well to be where we are, if we have a bad result or two in the next four weeks a lot of that work can be undone,” Pugh said.
“Top spot on the ladder is a big carrot for us. It means we’ll have the first week of finals off and home ground advantage in the major semi-final so it’s big.
“There’s four more games to get through for us before then, and we have to be sharp and focused for all of them.”
That one-month run to the finals starts tomorrow against a students side that currently sits eighth on the ladder, and 12 points out of finals contention.
But in a season where upsets have been more frequent than in other recent years, nothing can be taken for granted.
“You never really know what you’re going to get from CSU. Some weeks they turn up hot and others they’re cold,” Pugh said.
“The one thing you do expect from them is that they will throw the ball around so we have to be prepared for that.
“We only just beat them down in Bathurst earlier in the year, and last year they actually came up here and beat us so we can’t be complacent.”
Blockbusting centre Filisione Pauta is expected to return to Paul Hennock’s lineup for tomorrow’s clash after missing last Saturday’s 49-3 win over Parkes however, skipper Peter Nau’s availability was being determined at last night’s training session.
“Filisione sat on the bench last week and could have played if necessary but it worked out well that we could give him a rest,” Pugh said.
“Having him back will be a big boost for us, and we’ll have to wait and see with Pete after he rolled his ankle last week.
“He hates missing games but it will just depend on how he gets through training.
“We have good depth in the front row this season so if he misses the game then we’ve got guys in the lower grades that can come in and do a job for us.”
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