The Cowra Eagles’ finals hopes took a blow last week when they suffered a nine-point loss at home against Forbes Platypi, but coach Troy Hayes is urging his players to not give up hope.
Slipping out of the top five and two points below Orange City as a result of that loss, the Eagles now target a strong finish to the year, aiming for wins this week against CSU Bathurst and Dubbo Roos to finish.
For Hayes, it’s important that his side gives itself every chance of qualifying for the finals because “funny things happen in rugby”, he says.
“We can’t get our heads down. We have to give ourselves every chance of making the finals. Funny things happen in rugby,” coach Hayes said.
“We want to finish our season on a high and we’re looking to win our last two games.
“Last weekend’s result has made it hard. We need to win the last two and hope City finishes with a loss in one of their two final games.”
CSU has shown improvement during the run-in to finals.
They disposed of Parkes 35-17 and gave City a scare last week but ultimately lost 31-15.
Hayes says he’s expecting a better performance from the students compared to the one they dished up at the Eagles’ Nest during round one, which resulted in 60-29 victory for the men in red.
“You always have to expect a tough challenge over there,” Hayes said.
“They grow another leg and as you can see in their results they have started to build at the end of the year.
“But we’re going out there with confidence in ourselves and belief we can get the win.”
Cowra will be virtually unchanged however they will be without winger Kirk Stanbridge for the rest of the season after he suffered a split kidney while scoring a try in corner last week.
Captain Tom Dewhurst returns to the side after his absence against Forbes.
While Hayes is confident the Eagles can score victory, he’s hoping Mudgee can spring an upset over the Lions at Jubilee Oval.
The Lions finishes its season at Parkes.
“One of them might jag something for us,” Hayes said.
The game starts from 3.15pm this Saturday at CSU Bathurst’s University Oval.
- Emus 79
- Dubbo 65
- Forbes 65
- Bathurst 64
- Orange City 32
- Cowra 30
- Parkes 25
- CSU Bathurst 15
- Dubbo Rhinos 14
- Mudgee 12
- Dubbo v Emus
- Forbes v Bathurst
- CSU v Cowra
- Parkes v Rhinos
- Mudgee v City