PORT City Breakers coach Ben Sprague is sweating on the fitness of his Group 3 representative players ahead of the side’s match against competition leaders Wauchope Blues on Sunday at Lank Bain Complex.
The Breakers face a tough test against the Blues, but first the side’s representative contingent of Josh Osborne, Jesse Gleeson and Mitch Fowler must all come through the match against the Tamworth-based Group 4 at Forster-Tuncurry unscathed if they are to back up at Lank Bain Complex. Sprague said he wouldn’t finalise a squad until tomorrow, after assessing the fitness of the rep players.
“We have two or three blokes on stand-by if they don’t back up,” he said.
“But we’re training a squad of 17 or 18 at the moment.”
“It will be a hard night for them against Group 4.”
The Blues have been the side to beat all year, according to Sprague, while the Breakers sit fourth on the ladder.
The Port side hasn’t had a win in its past five games.
“Our last five games have been a loss, two draws and two losses,” Sprague said.
“And they’ve been the form side so far.”
Sprague said he was expecting another tough local derby, with a good-sized crowd on hand.
“They always get a good crowd there,” he said.
The Blues have their own representative concerns with captain Robbie Trembath, his brother Chris and Matt Bird all lining up for representative honours tonight alongside the Breakers five.
The trio will all back up again on Sunday in the hope of putting the struggling Breakers side to the sword. Robbie said his Blues saw Sunday’s game as one of the most important of the year to win but said emotions would be held back for the big clash.
“It’s that cross town rivalry that makes it one of the biggest games of the year,” he said.
“We always go out to play hard, but fair. Getting the win is more important than having a fight.
“But there’s always a bit of feeling in these games.”
Sunday’s match is scheduled to kick off at 2.45pm.