READY TO RUMBLE: Iluka Cossacks No.8 Nathan Callister charges into the Yamba Buccaneers' defensive line in the Clash of the Heads earlier this season.
READY TO RUMBLE: Iluka Cossacks No.8 Nathan Callister charges into the Yamba Buccaneers' defensive line in the Clash of the Heads earlier this season. Dan Frogan

ONE LAST STAND: Iluka has it all to play for

RUGBY UNION: Where there's a will, there's a way.

It is a common phrase that will take on a new meaning for the Iluka Cossacks at Ken Leeson Oval today.

The Cossacks will be relying on results at other grounds to go their way, while also aiming for a final-round bonus point win to secure a shock berth in next week's finals series.

Only cross-river rivals Yamba Buccaneers, who have already sewn up a finals spot, stand in the Cossacks' way.

The third and final Clash of the Heads derby will also mark a special moment for Cossacks leader Nathan Callister, who plans to hang up the boots.

"A local derby on the final round of the season with it all on the line, it doesn't get any better than that,” Callister said.

"We are still a slim chance to make the finals but we are relying on a perfect storm. We just left our run too late this year.”

It has been a frustrating season for the Cossacks, who have struggled to contend with player commitment issues.

The side is yet to put the same 15-man team on the field two weeks in a row and too many times have been left without a reserves bench.

"When you don't have that consistency it is hard to continually put the results on the board,” Callister said.

"At the end of the day we have beaten every other team in the competition except for Evans River. It is disappointing thinking about what might have been this season.

"To be in with a chance to make finals is a credit to the guys who did show up.”

The game against the Buccaneers will also act as the decider between the two clubs, with each team holding a win over the other this season.

With Callister planning on hanging up the boots after this season for the second time in his career, it will also provide sweet satisfaction for the No.8.

"If we beat them that means we have the upper hand this season, we win the rivalry,” Callister said.

"Everyone is mates with everyone from both sides of the river, so the bragging rights are so important.”

The Cossacks ride a wave of momentum into the clash after back-to-back wins, while the Buccaneers are still riding high from their away victory over Tenterfield.

The local derby kicks off after the football at Ken Leeson Oval from 2.30pm.



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