Grant believes Cherrypickers are cherry ripe

Former Australian Sevens, West Tigers and Eastwood star John Grant played his best game for the Young Cherrypickers last weekend, scoring two tries. The rangy winger could prove to be a headache for the Tumut Blues on Sunday. Photo: Sharon Corcoran – On The Ball Photography.

Former Australian Sevens finisher and once Shute Shield leading try scorer for Eastwood, John Grant, says Young are building nicely ahead of Sunday’s semi-final against Tumut at Anzac Park.  

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know if much has changed since we last played Tumut, but we have gelled together that’s for sure,” Grant said. 

“When we played Tumut, we were still fresh and new and had a lot of travellers coming into the side and were feeling each other out. We didn’t have those bonds and friendships we now have.”

It is this season together that has Grant believing Young could pose a big threat to the reigning Group 9 premiers. 

“Tumut did destroy us in that first game and whenever they wanted to run, they were making metres, but that really brought us together,” Grant said. 

“We have a really good bunch of blokes and now we have had a full round together, it has made it a little easier to play together and we are getting better and we are ready for the weekend.” 

Despite Young boasting a backline with proven finishers such as Grant, Tom Jenkins and Nick Hall, the 31-year-old said the game would be won and lost in the middle third of the field. 

“Yes, we have a good back line, but at the end of the day the game is going to be won up front, we all need to step up and play better than we have been,” Grant said. 

“If our boys in the middle go well, it will go a long way to us winning the game and if they are going forward and making metres, it will make it easy for us”

Grant, who scored two tries for the Cherrypickers in their 40-10 elimination semi-final victory over Brothers on Saturday, hoped an easy win did not give the club false confidence. 

“We might have made a few breaks and went alright on the weekend, but that was because our forwards were going forward,” Grant said. 

“If they do the hard yards and set the platform, we might have the same luck, but it won’t be easy.” 

In a highly anticipated match up, it will be very interesting to see how Young utilise the likes of Grant against Tumut’s outside defence.