The Tumut Blues reserve grade side will be aiming for a hat-trick of wins they host a winless Wagga Brothers at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Blues are proving to be a prickly commodity for sides and certainly aren’t the easy-beats of old, recording wins over Junee, Albury and Temora in the first half of the season, which currently has them sitting in fifth place and a big chance of playing finals.
Coach Mitchell Smith, who is sidelined this year after undergoing knee surgery at the end of last season, debuted in 2015 and admitted he couldn’t remember the last time his side had won three games on the trot.
“Ever since I’ve been in reserve grade, this is the first time we’ve been going for three in a row,” Smith said.
When asked what had changed, Smith believed it came back to a more mature playing group.
“I suppose our younger boys are starting to get older,” Smith said.
“That core group of blokes we had three year ago are still there and they’re getting a bit older, plus we have Jordy (Maher) and Keeno (Braith Keenan) and they have been handy this year, helping us out in the forwards, which has been good.”
Smith didn’t want his side to get too complacent when hosting Brothers, explaining that his team still had a lot of improvement to make.
“As we know, no team is a push over and we need to bring our best each week,” Smith said.
“Even the games we have won, we haven’t won convincingly and every game is a test, so we need to be at our best on Saturday.”
The third-year coach has dealt with back-to-back wooden spoons, and while he couldn’t play in 2021, he said there would be nothing better than playing finals.
“It would be massive, that’s the main goal, we always want to play finals football and now we might get the chance to finally do it,” Smith said.
Juniors set for top of the table clash
In what should add to an entertaining spectacle of rugby league at Twickenham on Saturday, the match of the day could very well be the top of the table Weissel Cup clash between the Tumut Blues and Wagga Brothers.
Tumut are unbeaten after eight rounds, and sit one win ahead of Brothers, who lost their only match to a third-placed Junee.
It is set to be a defensive struggling, with Brothers boasting the best defence in the competition, conceding only 50 points in six games, while Tumut have the second-best defence, conceding only 54 points in six games.
If Tumut win, they will then have a two-game buffer over their opposition as they head into the second half of the season.
Unfortunately, Tumut’s Sullivan Cup side is on the bye as Brothers do not field an under 16s team.