Tigers ready to Roar in A-grade finals
LEAGUE: A week can be a long time in football, according to those in the know.
For The Waves Tigers it could have saved their premiership hopes.
The Tigers will battle the Isis Devils tonight in the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade finals at Salter Oval for a chance to play the Wallaroos next week for a spot in the grand final.
The loser gets a second chance and faces either Easts or Wests next week.
The Tigers were the in-form side of the competition after claiming the Toyota Cup earlier this year.
Then the injuries took their toll as the Tigers fell from first to second and lost the minor premiership.
Tigers coach Ash Simpson said the week off, between the end of the season and finals, has helped immensely.
"It's given some of the boys the chance to rest, been really good,” he said.
"We're hoping to get Kristian Colasimone, Bobby Nona and Nicholas Samra back.
"Nona is 50/50 so we'll see how he gets through the final training.”
But Simpson knows a full strength team means little if the side doesn't play well.
Isis have won two of the three contests so far this season including a 58-4 smashing of the Tigers in round 13.
"Boys struggled after the Toyota Cup, including in that game, as we couldn't get the main team on the paddock,” he said.
"We just need to get back to our game plan and do what we do best.
"I think it will be right across the park where we need to do well and our defence needs to be spot on.”
The Waves will also face former player Zak Bainbridge, who has returned to the Devils line-up after recent injuries.
Bainbridge scored two tries in his tally of 16 points earlier this season as the Devils beat the Tigers in Childers in April.
"Zak's a brilliant player who always plays well,” Simpson said.
"We've spoken about him and we just need to defend well.”
Isis will have almost everyone in action as well with only Jake Thompson in doubt with work commitments.
"I'd say both teams will be at close to full strength for the clash,” Isis coach James Murray-Bryant said.
"We're all excited for the chance to play finals.
"There's no excuses, whoever will play should get the job done.”
For Isis it is their first finals appearance since 2015.
But some of their players have tasted success before with the Hervey Bay Seagulls in 2016 or made the grand final with other clubs.
Murray-Bryant said the side would utilise that and hoped the town of Childers would get behind the team to cheer them towards a grand final.
Kick-off is at 5.30pm.