IT’S Old Boys day at Morisset this Saturday, and Southern Lakes are counting on a big home crowd for their rugby union match against Muswellbrook Healers at Gibson Oval.
The Hammerheads are third on the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union’s divisional premiership ladder, and the Healers are fourth.
Southern Lakes coach Andrew Vizer said it was the start of an important run into finals football.
“A win on Saturday, and the following week against second-placed Easts 1, should see the Hammerheads finish second, and well placed for the semis,” Vizer said.
Kick off is at 3pm.
Southern Lakes are coming off a gutsy 17-15 win over Cooks Hill on Saturday.
The Hammerheads were put under plenty of defensive pressure, particularly in the closing stages of the match, and their resilience pleased coach Vizer.
The Hammerheads were down on troops and arrived at the ground with only 16 players. Several were missing due to injury, illness and work commitments.
Cooks Hill were sixth on the ladder, but had recorded some strong performances in the preceding games against some of the top sides.
“It was not a day for open rugby with a strong offshore wind blowing, and the ground was like concrete,” Vizer said.
Southern Lakes scored first with a try to prop, Jordan Palmer, following strong lead up work from the forward pack.
Cooks Hill hit back with a try and penalty goal to take an 8-5 lead into halftime.
“Two bullocking tries to flanker Graham ‘Des’ Greenfield soon after the break, with a conversion from skipper Riley See saw the Hammerheads lead 17-8,” Vizer said.
See then left the field injured after a heavy collision, and he was unable to return.
Cooks Hill took advantage with a try and a conversion to trail 17-15 with 12 minutes to play.
It made for a very tense final stanza.
“From a coaching perspective I was very pleased with the doggedness and determination of the side – a great team effort,” Vizer said.
“I know that we have the skill to go all the way this year, but the determination and general composure of the side, whilst fatigued and under enormous pressure, gives me extra confidence.”