A CHANCE to leapfrog their opponents and the potential to take a top five spot.
That’s the juicy equation for hosts St Pat’s that makes this Sunday’s Group 10 premier league match against Orange Hawks a mouthwatering contest.
Pat’s will give themselves a great opportunity to achieve their desired result should they bring in the second half of football they produced in their comeback win over the Blayney Bears last round.
Saints coach Kurt Hancock said the 48-24 victory was brought about from his squad playing to their strengths.
He knows his side can reproduce that magic for a second week running.
“If we can get the two points this week we’ll be in a good position having the majority of our players back after the general bye,” he said.
“We want to put all the negative stuff in that first half against Blayney behind us. That half against them was Pat’s footy – our identity – and I don’t think we’d found it this year until then.
“Everyone left training in a really good frame of mind last night ... so there’s great signs there.”
Hancock believes Hawks haven’t found their groove for the full 80 minutes of a game, and could be a fearsome unit if they gain consistency.
“This game means a lot to us this weekend, and obviously does to Hawks as well,” he said.
“Obviously from their games this year Hawks have shown they’re strong finishers but some of their starts have been terrible. We’ve got to prepare ourselves for a barrage, especially if they’re at full strength.”
Pat’s will be expecting the return of hooker Hudson White and front rower McCoy White after the bye, the latter having been out of action since a pre-season injury.
In White’s absence Matt Ranse will take the starting hooker spot for the first time this season.
Shannon Peters takes the halfback role while former Villages United forward Harrison Jones gets his first starting premier league spot for Pat’s this season, lining up in the second row.
Brady Cheshire also makes his return from injury.
“Matt went really well at Hooker last game … and picked up a try there,” Hancock said.
“I thought Shannon Peters was back to his best at halfback, where he was playing on the ball a lot more compared to when he was at fullback.”
Kick-off is at 2.15pm.