THE United Fitness Bega Roosters head to Moruya to contest the major semi-final of Group 16 in three grades on Sunday.
The first grade Roosters take on the minor premier Moruya Sharks, the league-tag Chicks take on the Cooma Fillies and the under 18s play Merimbula-Pambula.
Club president Garry Arkin said the teams were upbeat about their chances despite being underdogs in the first and league-tag clashes.
Meanwhile, the under 18s are competition favourite after a stellar unbeaten season.
The 18s will kick off the action at Ack Weyman Oval, Moruya, from 10am and a disciplined and focused performance for the full contest is the message being instilled by coaches James Scott and Grant Dowdle.
“We must work out our sets, get a good kick in and play the game in the dogs half as much as we can,” the coaches said.
Bega’s young squad will be headed by a strong forward pack consisting of Cody Hazelgrove-Danvers, Jye Britten and Luke Dowdle, while the Duncan brothers James and Mitchell are nonstop work horses.
Off the bench, Jordan Spurling, Braiden Mcintosh and Craig Horswell will be injected into the game to make for some big impact.
Unfortunately, the side has received a blow, losing centre, and leading try-scorer, Declan Bower-Scott to a season-ending injury.
However, the side will be eager to lock in their first grand finals berth.
In the league-tag clash, the Cooma Fillies present a huge challenge for the Bega Chicks, who felt the full wrath of a rampant Fillies side at their last outing succumbing 26-0.
Coach Andrew Badullovich will be looking for his side to contain the Fillies big guns in the shape of Maree Ingram, Jade Lee and exciting fullback Meg Bracher.
Badullovich said the Fillies produce a strong kicking game and Ingram’s barn-storming runs wreak havoc on the Chicks defensive line.
Tegan Mundy is a key figure for the Chicks and will lead by example on the field and with Kezie Apps and Hayley Jessop poised for big games, the Chicks are keen to erase their last result.
Ali Ringland, Cheyanne Long and Fiona Holmes are in their first season and received a tough initiation into the competitive nature of the Cooma side.
Georgina Pearce will have more experience under her belt in the fullback role and the result is expected to be much closer.
In the headline match at 2.30pm, the Finnerty Automotive first grade side faces a huge ask against a full-strength and fit Moruya side.
The Sharks are defending premiers and scored an emphatic win over Bega in their last clash.
Despite this loss, the Roosters have trained well and captain-coach Ryan Apps will look to his forward pack to show the way.
Hayden Parbery, Mitch Carter, Jarrod Tamatea and Apps himself will be in charge of hitting up the mid to keep Moruya’s forward pack quiet.
The roosters will also be out to snuff out the ball play of game breaker Aaron Brierley, whose ability to set alight fullback Dennis Green and centre Caine Brierley will be key to a Moruya victory.
Meanwhile, the Roosters have strike weapons in Scott Ingram and Adam Blacka, who can do some damage out wide.
Likewise the ability of Lee Fuller and Marty Scott-Thomas will prove crucial as they take advantage of any opportunities.
Craig Matthews will also be in the thick of the action.
The Roosters have proved time and again they are fit for the full 80 minutes and they will need to be if they are to overcome the Moruya Sharks for a grand final berth.