MISSING MAN: Lower Clarence prop forward Daine Laurie?s injury worries have worried the Magpies.
MISSING MAN: Lower Clarence prop forward Daine Laurie?s injury worries have worried the Magpies.

Hoodoo a plus for the Magpies



LOWER Clarence captain-coach Jason Wilkinson believes the Magpies can use its hoodoo status with the Murwillumbah Mustangs to soar into the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League top five.

The Magpies defeated the Mustangs earlier in the season and have yet to taste defeat at the hands of their northern rivals.

"We beat them at the start of the season up there amd we're looking forward to getting them again on our home ground," Wilkinson said.

"It's congested at the top of the ladder. We're travelling in the middle of the table and it could only take us one win to make the top five.

"We've beaten them the last two times we've played them and I'm happy about that.

"There's a really good feeling in the camp. Hopefully we've turned the corner."

Wilkinson said Thursday's training run had been exceptional and forecast his team will be 'pumped up' for tomorrow's clash at the Maclean Showground.

Mustangs' coach Con Theodossiou said injuries have not made over turning the hoodoo any easier.

Key players, prop Matt Chadburn with a torn hamstring and form centre Jason Willis with an elbow injury, will miss the game.

Their exclusion is on top of the fact that Murwillumbah's champion fullback Shannon Murphy and half Mat Harley out for another week on suspension.

It has forced Theodossiou to make some major changes to his side, calling on his impressive reserve grade ranks to fill the gaps.

LOWER CLARENCE: 1. Grant Brown 2. Ben McDonald. 5. Damien Randall 3. Ken Mercy 4. Daniel Battersby 6. Jason Wilkinson 7. Dave Purcell 8. Nathan Kelly 10. Mick Harris 9. Barry Ah-See 11. Tom Freebody 12. Ryan Binge 13. Aaron Murray. Reserve: Wayne Read.

MURWILLUMBAH MUSTANGS: 1. Mat Brown, 2. Ryan Murphy, 3. Ryan White, 4. Nick Forrester, 5. Richard Arrowsmith, 6. Gary Dowling, 7. Ben White, 8. Steve Kirkham, 9. Sam Panting, 10. Robert Reid, 11. Matt Slattery, 12. Jarrod Flick (c), 13. Andrew Pollard, 14. Brad Wann.

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