Oberon hosting a Group 10 grand final?
It’s a scenario Orange CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan says his side can’t afford to let happen ahead of the Tigers’ trip to Wade Park on Sunday.
Luke Branighan’s black and golds upset Bathurst Panthers 20-16 in the qualifying semi-final last weekend at Carrington Park.
It shot the Tigers into the major semi and just one win away from hosting what would be the club’s first home Group 10 grand final since 1975.
And while Sullivan acknowledges the Tigers side CYMS will play on Sunday will be far tougher than the team the green and golds disposed of twice during the regular season, he’s still confident the minor premiers can win and earn hosting rights for the September 10 grand finals.
“You don’t want Oberon hosting, as great as it would be for them. It’d be tough to go over there with their crowd,” Sullivan said.
“But they’ve got to come to us and play at our ground which is notoriously tough as well.”
Sullivan is expected to name a gangbuster side for the biggest game of the season to date, Chris Bamford and Tim and Robbie Mortimer all fit to return from injury.
While centre Bronx Goodwin is an outside chance of returning from a fractured thumb. He’ll face a fitness test on Friday night.
Sullivan didn’t see last Sunday’s Tigers upset win, and admits he’s a touch surprised Branighan conjured up the sort of performance that has CYMS on notice ahead of this weekend.
“He’s a class player – one of the more talented guys in Group 10 running around. He knows how to read a game and his kicking game is classy,” Sullivan said.
”I still wouldn’t have picked them to beak Panthers though. They’ve been a stand-out side all season.”
Oberon is expected to send a fleet of buses to Wade Park to help cheer on their premier league side.
It’s a wave of support Sullivan welcomes.
“That’s the great thing about Oberon going through – their support travels,” he said.
“I enjoy playing over there whenever we head over. There’s always some sharp comments from the sideline, a bit of a abuse, but it’s all in good fun.
“I enjoy playing there, they get into it and it’s a great atmosphere. Sunday should be a great day.”