The Candelo-Bemboka United Panthers will host something of a big challenge against the Bombala Blue Heelers this weekend.
It will be the battle of the big men as the two monstrous forward packs butt heads through the ruck.
The club will host its heritage round at the Candelo ground on Saturday afternoon for play in both league-tag and reserve grade fixtures.
As of round six, the Panthers reign supreme in the reserve grade fixture, undefeated at the top of the ladder, while the Blue Heelers claimed their first win of the season over the weekend.
So it could potentially be a one-sided affair as CBU has turned away all teams before them in the competition, but it will also be the first big measure of size matching size.
The Panthers have one of the biggest packs on show in Group 16 and drawing the comment from a Merimbula-Pambula player recently that “they all look like forwards”.
It’s a strength the Panthers have been able to draw on in defence, while those same big men open up opportunities to score points.
The Panthers have been very good at making some high impact hit ups through Jake McDonald and Heywood Fraser, but have also been finding quick offloads that wear out the opposition as it doubles or even triples their tackling rate.
Look for the support plays from Nathan Rosseland, the Cochrane brothers Josh and Alex and Jory Taylor to help get the Panthers over the line comfortably on Saturday in front of a vocal home crowd.
Prediction: CBU 40-12.
Unfortunately, the Pink Panthers have not enjoyed the same strengths as their reserve grade counterparts.
The club is building attacking structure with five-eighth Caitlin Johnson scoring doubles in a few recent outings off a good swivel-and-step, while Emma Irvin and Emma Backhouse have been impeccable in defence with safety from Sharnie Long at backstop.
Centre Larissa Horswell had a good show of tagging the Merimbula-Pambula quicks last weekend and will help the defensive efforts, while Sarah Henry and Hayley Baselar and getting into the rhythm with some quick runs.
However, the High Heelers are quickly shaping as one of the premiership favourites with just one loss to their name this season and holding second on the ladder.
The Bombala squad is revered for its highly structured attacking displays, especially running in pairs and some quick inside-outside passing movements.
With their improving attack, the Panthers are likely to find a couple of opportunities, but could struggle to contain the attacking efforts of the Heelers.
Prediction: Bombala 36-8.