By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Lower Clarence Magpies will be looking to knock off the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League front runners the Tweed Seagulls when they meet at the Maclean Showgrounds tomorrow.
Boasting a nearly full strength side, the Magpies are confident of knocking the league leaders down a peg or two, especially if they muscle up to the youngsters.
Captain Jason Hebbard said the team was raring to get stuck into the Seagulls, believing if they get on top of them early they can rattle them.
"We've got the side to beat them, we've just got to be switched on on the day," he said. "The Seagulls are a young, very enthusiastic side so if we can aim up in defence for 20-30 minutes in the first half there's a big chance we can hold them out."
"We are aiming to be the first side to beat them this year and if we do the basics right and really aim up in defence, we've got a chance."
Hebbard said the first half would be crucial to the outcome, with the Magpies intent on not letting the Seagulls get a roll on.
"They are pretty strong all over the park. They're a side that if you let them get a roll on they will. They've got strong second phase play and if you let them break the line they've got a quick backline," he said.
Hebbard said with the Magpies sitting just outside the top six, it was an important game for the club.
"We have got a little bit of an easier run after this, so if we start knocking the big sides off it'll give the team a lot of confidence going into the next rounds," he said.
Hebbard said the Magpies would boast nearly a full strength side, except for Lee Everitt, who has gone back to playing rugby union.
"He was playing good football so it is a loss to the club. But we've got the players to step up," he said.
The team for Sunday:
Fullback: Aaron Murry, wingers: Michael Laurie, Mitch West, centres: Adam Elliot, Darren Blackett, five-eighth: Gavin Galvin, halfback: Jason Wilkinson, Lock: Tom Freebody, second rowers: Terry Power, Jason Hebbard (c), Props: Luke Mapperson, Mitch Harris, Hooker: Chris Brophy.