BEN Pursell doesn’t have overly fond memories of his last clash with Wauchope Thunder.
The 29-year-old suffered ankle ligament damage in the Vikings win at Andrews Park earlier in the season that put him on the sidelines for five weeks.
But Pursell will play his third game back from the injury in Saturday’s return clash at Oxley Oval.
As he prepares to run out in his 100th game for the club against the competition’s whipping boys, Pursell remained respectful of a Thunder side who have struggled again this season.
“They’re a new club and have struggled over the last couple of years, but so did the Vikings 20 years ago,” he said.
“[Wauchope are] struggling on the field, but when you start out it always takes time to get the ball rolling.
“Vikings got smashed for years, but now we’re doing well on and off the field.”
It has taken Pursell 13 years to bring up the century with three years spent at university at Armidale preventing him from achieving the milestone earlier.
He returned for his second stint with the club midway through 2011.
“I knew I’d get to 100 games eventually because I’ll keep playing until my body won’t allow me anymore, so it means a lot,” the second-rower said.
“There are a lot of really good people in the club and that’s what makes me want to keep playing each year.”
Pursell was confident the Vikings could charge into the finals on the back of a run of home games that sees them hit the road only once again before the finals.
“It’s good to get the away games out of the way and then come home strong,” he said.
Saturday’s clash kicks off at 3pm, with an under-16 curtain-raiser at 1.15pm.