Colt Tairua (pictured) has been a standout for Westside this season and Dylan Hill expects the back-rower to star again today against Forbes. Photo: CHERYL BURKETODAY’S Group 11 elimination semi-final between Dubbo Westside and the Forbes Magpies is guaranteed to be a huge battle up front.
Both sides possess powerful forward packs with plenty of strike power but Rabbitohs’ stand-in captain Dylan Hill believes his side has one big man who can break the game wide open.
“One guy who has been outstanding for us this season is Colt Tairua, he’s been aiming up each week,” he said.
“With it looking like a forward’s game he’ll step up again because he’s been massive for us.”
Tairua was virtually unknown before joining the Rabbitohs from CYMS during the off-season but in the space of a season he’s become one of the leading back-rowers in the competition.
Hill admitted even he didn’t know who Tairua was before the season started but expects him to impact again on a game he believes will be decided by the forwards.
“We know they’ve got a big pack and guys like Zac Merritt and Jake Grace have plenty of experience and they’ll be the ones to watch,” he said of Forbes.
“I believe we’ve got the backs who can score the points but it’s up to the forwards to be aiming up and setting the platform.”
Today’s match at Caltex Park marks the first time Westside have made the finals since their return to Group 11.
The aim of coach Robbie Dunn and everyone at the club was to make the post-season in 2015 but just being one of the top five isn’t good enough for the Rabbitohs now.
“Our next goal is to make the grand final, that’s where we want to be but we’ve got to focus on these games first,” Hill said.
“Obviously they (Forbes) had a great win over Parkes last week so we can’t take them lightly but it is good to have the home ground advantage.”
Forbes, who finished the season one spot above Westside in fourth, defeated Parkes for the first time in six years last week and head into the match full of confidence.
It was a much different result for the Rabbitohs last week as they were thumped 78-8 but it was an understrength side which made the trip to Kennard Park, with only four regulars in the starting lineup.
Hill said his side had responded to that loss with their best training sessions of the season this week and the squad was of the belief they can win today after their 44-26 win over the Magpies in June.
“We did it once so I don’t see why we can’t do it again,” he said.
The action at Caltex Park gets under way today at 12pm with the league tag with the first grade match expected to kick off shortly after 3pm.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.