GRIFFITH Blacks coach Clint Robertson said his forwards need to find their inner mongrel if they are topple the Tumut Bulls in their Southern Inland Rugby Union elimination final tomorrow at Conolly Park.
The Blacks were outmuscled and at times showed apathy at the breakdown in their lacklustre
15-all draw against Leeton last round, with Robertson warning a similar performance will mean the end of their season.
“They have got to have mongrel this weekend, they have to play it like it’s their last game and if they win, they have to maybe do it two more times,” Robertson said.
“The opposite of that is they roll over and they get a pat on the back from their mums and dads who’ll say they have done a good job.
“But that’s not good enough because I know what the potential is of this side, when they have stood up Ag College and CSU and they’ve only just beaten us, it’s because the guys played with mongrel.”
Griffith’s second grade faces Cootamundra also in an elimination game, however, Robertson said his side’s attitude to training ahead of its must-win game leaves a lot to be desired.
“Hopefully we can take more than a team-and-a-half to the finals, but going off last night’s training (Tuesday) I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said. “We had eight guys at training which was disappointing. The first grade guys who couldn’t be there contacted me, but the second grade who have been a strong force at training, there was only two of them there.
“But now it’s up to the boys to prove to themselves. The club and me know they can do it, they have done all of the training, we have prepared for games, they know the game plans, they’re fit enough.
“It’s now in their hands if they want to play one more game or three more games.”
Griffith did show a fighting spirit to just lose to the Bulls in the last time they faced, but the Griffith leader said converting pressure into points will be vital.
“Defence is what’s going to hold us in good stead, we know we can defend well but we need to pull our finger out in attack because we’ve got the size, skill and speed to do it,” Robertson said.
“But we need to retain possession, because that’s where Leeton killed us last weekend, we were lazy at the breakdowns.”
Michael Stally (suspended) and Heath McWhirter (unavailable) are out of the side with Andreas Demeyer moving into flanker and Carl Tagliapietra into second row.