THE Yenda Blueheelers junior sides might go in as underdogs into this weekend’s Group 20 grand final, but under 12s coach Adam Goldman believes anything is possible in the biggest game of the year.
Goldman’s side has lost its three clashes with Leeton in 2012, but he said the team will not take a backwards step in the decider.
“The last game they jumped on us early and scored at least three tries early in the first half and we had a try disallowed, so really in the second half the kids realised that they’re weren’t that hard,” Goldman said.
“Our defence is really good, but we need to jump out of the blocks early. We’ll work on that at training.”
The young side has made big strides in their development this year and will be looking to control their nerves in the big game, with the inclusion of centre Josh Langland set to calm the side.
“For about half of the side it’s their first year playing, but we’ve really improved so much,” Goldman said.
“But I think last weekend our loss was a bit because of nerves, because it was a pretty big game and we weren’t sure if we’d be in the grand final.
“But I think being there and playing them last weekend, and knowing they (Leeton) didn’t really get over the top of us will give them confidence ahead of this weekend.”
Yenda under 13s will face off against the Griffith Panthers, with coach Trevor Richards in a perfect position to help his side with his invaluable experience in grand finals.
“They have got a tough job because the Panthers side the are playing have got some quality players, and they have managed to go through undefeated,” Goldman said. “But you know funny things happen on grand final days, and I’m sure Trevor will have them primed.”
Utility back David Williams will be a handful for the Panthers’ defence, while Jermaine Cook and the side’s solid forward pack will look to lead from the front.
Yenda’s international leaguetag side will carry plenty of momentum into the grand final after its nail-biting countback to sneak into the decider ahead of Hay. After a slow start to the year and losing their captain Maddie Payne to a broken arm in round five, coach Sam Loaloadravu has got the best out of the young side.