The two heavyweights of the Andrew Johns Cup – the Northern Rivers Titans and the Western Rams will go head-to-head in this weekend’s Final in Mudgee and both Coaches know their squads will need to be at their absolute best to come away with a victory.
Northern Rivers Coach Shaun Davison believes their Semi-Final against the Penrith Panthers was a good challenge for his team but says they can still improve their one percent plays.
“It was good that we responded after halftime and put together a good first ten minutes of the second half to get a lead and we just defended from there,” Davison said.
“We had a bit of pressure put on us which was good but again we were patchy at times.
“There was a period at the back end of the first half where we came away with too many penalties and errors that didn’t allow us to build pressure.
“We’re still looking for that complete performance which we will need going into this weekend, that’s for sure.”
The Northern Rivers Titans boast the best defensive record in the competition, having only 32 points scored against them in their six games leading into the Final and Davison says they won’t let the long hours of travel to Mudgee affect their game.
“We’re a team that only focuses on what we can control so little hurdles like travel, we don’t see them as hurdles we see them as areas that we can respond positively to.
“The team are all up and ready; it’s exciting for them to be in this competition and in a Grand Final as well, it’s fantastic.”
Western Rams Coach Tony Woolnough was pleased with his team’s 44-4 Semi-Final win over the Greater Northern Tigers and is hoping they can continue to play their style of football against an impressive Northern Rivers outfit.
“I was happy with the way they started; they fell away a bit in the second half but that’s probably to be expected when you’re leading 30-nil at half time,” Woolnough said.
“The Titans are a very good side and very well coached and they probably deserve to be favourites.
“I think if we just complete our sets and stick to our structure we should give it a fair crack.”
The Rams have played the same team since Round One which has helped their combinations succeed and Woolnough believes a Finals berth is a just reward for all their hard work.
“I’m extremely proud, there has been a lot of work and a lot of kilometres but when you get results like that it’s all worth it.
“It will be good to be on home territory, we’re really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully we get the right result.”
The Western Rams v Northern Rivers Titans Andrew Johns Cup match will be played at Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee on Saturday 6th April and will kick-off at 10:00am. The match will be live streamed via the CRL Facebook Page thanks to BAR TV Sports.