One of the toughest match-ups in this weekend’s Under 20 Hastings Deering Colts competition will see the Northern Pride (3rd) host the Redcliffe Dolphins (5th).
The two could also potentially set to be a finals clash in a couple of weeks; adding some extra importance to the match.
After a shaky start to the season; last year’s Under 20 FOGS Colts defending premiers the Dolphins had rattled off eight straight wins before last week’s loss to competition leaders the Townsville Blackhawks, who’ve already clinched their spot in the finals.
Dolphins coach Chris Little said the next two games are “must-win” for his side as a loss this round could see them fall to seventh and out of finals running.
“We’re coming up against the third-placed Pride this weekend then Victoria who are playing some really good football as well and they’re in the top six, so it’s extremely important,” Little said.
“Basically, they’re must-win games for us and it’s good to test yourself against the top teams, and hopefully if we get some wins we’ll make a finals appearance.
“We’ve got a good football side, but a young football side, and if we just trust the processes we’ve put in place all year, then I’m confident we can get the job done.”
According to Little, “consistency” was the key to turning their early season slump around and he knew side were in for a tough test when they faced off against the Blackhawks last week.
“We went up to Townsville very much under-strength and we knew we were coming up against a really strong, well-coached side,” Little said.
“It was a little bump in the road for us, but we’ll have a good week ahead at training and go into the weekend putting our best foot forward.”
Round 23 for the Hastings Deering Colts kicks off on Friday with the Victoria Thunderbolts playing host to the Ipswich Jets as the curtain raiser for the Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels NRL game at AAMI Park.
The Thunderbolts will be looking to hold onto fourth spot on the ladder this weekend with a massive game next round in their final game of the season against the Dolphins.
Another key game this weekend will see the Burleigh Bears looking to produce an upset on Saturday against the top-of-the-table Blackhawks to keep pace with the top six.
A loss for the Bears would eliminate them from the finals race barring losses by both Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly in their final two games.