COACH Lee Kimball says the Griffith Blacks are relishing the opportunity to play pressure-free football in what is effectively a dead rubber match against Ag College tomorrow in Wagga.
The two sides are placed fifth and sixth on the Walsh & Blair Cup ladder, with both destined to slide down as the top seeds for the second-tier Romano’s Cup finals, which begin next week.
Kimball has told his men to embrace the situation and use it as a platform ahead of their assault on SIRU silverware.
“It will just be two teams going out there to play footy and have some fun – and obviously trying to win,” he said.
“Interestingly enough they’re in the same boat as us. This match will help us figure out who plays who the following week.”
Kimball said it was important to also treat this weekend as a learning experience, following a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance against CSU at home on Saturday.
The Blacks fell 24-3 behind after a dismal first half but produced some of their best rugby to date in the second, eventually falling 24-22.
“It’s no good having a beer after that and saying ‘Christ, we nearly won’,” he said.
“It was good the boys didn’t chuck their arse in the corner but it was disappointing that they were so far in front we couldn’t peg them back.
“We need to figure out what we did wrong to make sure we don’t do it again and take that forward.
“If we can learn a little bit each and every week from this last bit of the season, we’ve done well.
“From the sidelines looking on, we were very reactionary and let them play footy instead of playing it ourselves.
“It’s about being 100 per cent aware of what the opposition is doing and knowing what is going on – I think we daydream a bit, sometimes.
“When we play footy we can match it with anyone, but it’s been a struggle for me to find the right button to get them going.”
Griffith is unlikely to make wholesale changes for the Ag College clash, but Junior Ashby and Teao Kaoe are possible additions to the side.
Aaron Lawrence and Taoe Wotae are still sidelined while Mick Stalley played the entire second half against CSU.