The Magpie defence swoops on an attacker
The Magpie defence swoops on an attacker

Magoies keep eye on final four spot

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

WITH five teams in contention for the last two spots in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League finals, Lower Clarence Magpies president Garry Anderson is well aware of the importance of today's match against Byron Bay in Maclean. Casino, Marist Brothers, Mullumbimby and Ballina are fighting it out with Lower for a spot in the finals, with only two points separating fourth-placed Casino and the Magpies, who are sitting eighth. With the four other teams playing sides below them on the ladder and with Marist Brothers having the bye, a win is vital for the Magpies to remain in touch. Playing today so as to support the Maclean Cup in Grafton on Sunday, Anderson said the team was acutely aware of the importance of the match. "We understand how important it is and it's crucial we keep on winning for our semi-final aspirations," he said. The club has been rocked with injuries in recent weeks with key players Dan Cowling, Ken Mercy, Dane Walker and Dave Purcell all facing fitness tests today. "We still haven't come up with a final team and we won't be picking one until Saturday at the ground because we've got a few injuries we're trying to work out," he said. "In a couple of cases even if they do declare themselves fit, if it's raining we won't run those players." Anderson said only first grade and Under-18s would be played today after Byron forfeited reserve grade. "She'd be a sad day if we can't knock them off, but we are very wary of the fact they beat Grafton fairly convincingly and they won't be easy to beat, that's for sure," he said. n ALSO this weekend the South Grafton Rebels will play Ballina in reserve grade and Under-18s tomorrow at McKittrick Park.



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