If the Dubbo Roos Blue side is withing striking distance of Orange City in the last 10 minutes of Saturday’s Central West Junior Rugby Union under 15s grand final, coach Justin Smith is confident his side has what it takes to win.
The challenge is being within touch of City at that stage in the game.
The Orange side has dominated the under 15s competition this year, losing just once during the regular season before brushing the Roos Blue team aside in the major semi-final.
The Roos ensured they’d meet again in the grand final when defeating clubmates Roos Red in the preliminary final, and coach Smith is confident his side has what it takes to cause a boilover.
“Orange City has never really been pushed all year,” Smith said ahead of Saturday’s grand final day at Forbes’ Grinsted Oval.
“If we’re there in the last 10 minutes, we’re confident we can close games out.
“We’ve played in a lot of tight, close games so I think that tough pressure-cooker situation is more suited to us.”
Staying in touch is easier said that done though.
City’s differential is almost 300 points better than the next best side, Dubbo Blue, and the lineup features some of the most exciting individual talents in the competition.
The young Lions are also filled with confidence after downing Smith’s side 48-10 in the major semi-final.
“It’s an awfully big task,” Smith said of toppling City.
“I can’t stress that enough. They do the little things right, all those basics, and if you make a mistake they will make you pay.
“We’ve got to be at the top of our game to be in a position to threaten in that last 10 minutes.”
City have standout stars in Fritz Jahnke Tavana and Noa Fraser, two players who could well decide Saturday’s contest on their own.
Jahnke Tavana starred in the major semi-final win and while Smith is all too aware how good those two players are, he feels the more team-focused approach his side takes on Saturday is a positive.
“If we can shut two of their players down then they’re done,” he said.
“We haven’t got that, we’ve got 15 kids with an even level of ability so it’s a very different equation to City.”
Each and every Dubbo player will need to be at the top of their game on Saturday, and Smith hopes a change he’s made in the lineup can help the Roos get the job done.
Justin Howey has spent almost the entire season at fullback and Ned Manton has been in the forwards but both will line up in the centres on Saturday.
The change has been made to boost the Roos’ defensive solidity, something vital against a side as slick as City.
Kick-off in Saturday’s under 15s grand final at Forbes is at 11am.