Rivalries reignite ahead of GRL finals series
RUGBY LEAGUE: Fish will be on the menu for Valleys or Wallabys as the two sides battle on Saturday night for a place in the Gladstone Rugby League Division 1 grand final against Brothers.
It's been a three-horse race for much of the GRL season but it was Brothers who claimed top spot and a direct passage through to the decider after results went their way last weekend.
Valleys' 22-16 win over Brothers on August 16 opened a window of opportunity for the Diehards.
That window opened wider after two points were awarded to them after Tannum forfeited its August 24 match against them due to a huge injury toll.
However Valleys' 28-22 loss to Wallabys last weekend denied them a shot at top spot, which was sewn up by Brothers after they brushed aside Tannum 48-8.
Valleys coach Russell O'Dwyer couldn't attend last weekend's match but was told enough about the Diehards' performance to know exactly where they need to improve.
"We didn't hold onto the ball too much so we've got to worry about ourselves - complete our sets of six, defend and then hopefully things work out," O'Dwyer said.
"We're definitely expecting a similar contest this week... it's going to be full-on and a tough game so if we don't turn up we'll be sitting out next week."
O'Dwyer said his side isn't looking beyond Saturday night's game and that recent form can often be cast aside once finals roll around.
"We were on top of the table for most of the year and now we are fighting to see if we can make the grand final," he said.
"The form guide goes out the window. Wallabys are a good side and can beat anyone on their day and proved that last weekend so we have to step up and play our best footy."
- Valleys v Wallabys 6pm Saturday at Marley Brown Oval
- Winner to face Brothers in GRL grand final on September 14.