At Narrabri Blue Boars training on Tuesday night ahead of the 2018 Central North Rugby Union finals series which begins on Saturday in Walcha - women’s sevens player Emma Marvel, first grade player Will Morley, women’s sevens player Jess Schwager, first grade coach Dylan Duncan, women’s sevens player Daisy Robinson, first grade player Jake Packer and women’s sevens player April Smith. The first grade side takes on Walcha Rams on Saturday, after the women’s sevens team plays the winner of the Scone/Gunnedah match which will be contested earlier on the same day.
The Narrabri Blue Boars first grade side will face its biggest test of its 2018 campaign on Saturday when it plays Walcha in the CNRU first grade elimination final.
The players know it, and the coach does too.
But what they also know is that they are well and truly capable of knocking off the Rams, the only side that they have not beaten in 2018.
Narrabri and Walcha have gone head-to-head twice this season.
In round one the Rams defeated Narrabri 54-7 in Walcha.
That match was a rare stutter in the Blue Boars’ otherwise impressive campaign.
It was one of just four losses Narrabri has suffered in 2018, with the other three being by 13 points, two points and eight points respectively.
That eight-point loss actually came back in round 10 in Narrabri and Walcha’s return fixture at Dangar Park. Since then the Blue Boars have won seven matches in a row by a combined 314-116.
That run included wins against first-placed Pirates and second-placed Moree, both away from home.
The only team with better form heading into the 2018 CNRU first grade finals series is Walcha.
The Rams’ last loss came back in round seven on May 26, when the side was defeated by Gunnedah away from home.
Since then it has picked up 53 of a possible 55 points, and has won nine straight matches.
The Rams recently earned the praise of Blue Boars forward Will Turner.
Turner has played 16 matches in the 2018 regular season, something just nine players in the entire competition have done this campaign.
He said that this weekend’s opponents were the biggest obstacle Narrabri would have to overcome in its pursuit of a premiership.
“Walcha is the team to beat, no matter what the table says,” Turner said.
“They are the form team at the moment.”
Narrabri Blue Boars coach Dylan Duncan echoed his key forward’s thoughts.
“The last game we lost was to Walcha,” Duncan said.
“We lost to them at home in a really tight game.
“They have a really dangerous backline.
“They are a team that can score a try from anywhere, whereas Moree and Pirates are more a forwards dominated game.
“Walcha has a complete side so they take some beating.”