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ARMIDALE and Glen Innes/Guyra will be out to end recent losing streaks when they clash in today’s only Abbott, Pardy and Jenkins New England competition match – at Mother of Ducks Lagoon – as the battle for third spot intensifies.
Glen/Guyra currently holds down the remaining finals spot and could put a comfortable gap between themselves and Armidale but could also relinquish third spot to Armidale with only four points separating the two sides.
The injury-ravaged defending premiers haven’t tasted a win since the competition was revamped but will welcome back star forwards Blair Harper and Matt Easter.
Adding further motivation, captain and five-eighth Shane Shelley will be playing his last game before departing for Canada.
“He’s off to Canada for 12 months so he’ll leave another hole,” Armidale coach Anthony McMillan said.
Despite having struggled to assemble a side, McMillan remained upbeat about his side’s chances.
“We’re capable of beating these blokes,” McMillan said.
“It’s just a matter of everything clicking.”
McMillan felt his side would have the pace out wide and was predicting Glen/Guyra to be again tough in the forwards.
They have also been handed a slight reprieve with their second grade clash against UNE Barbarians moved forward to 12.30pm to allow them to travel up to Guyra and fill the bench.
Glen/Guyra captain coach Tom Newsome said a win would certainly put his side in a more comfortable position and put the pressure back on Armidale but identified a few areas his side needed to address arising from its last-round performance against Robb.
“We’re still struggling a bit with controlling
“We were stuck in our half and couldn’t play field position,” he said.
“We were on the back foot defending most of the game and we struggled to dominate the way the game was played, which is something we need to address.”
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