By Les Muir

REFUSING to be intimidated, prodigious Kangaroos lock Troy Barby plays above his weight in the Group Nine premiership every week.

The son of former swashbuckling forward Jay Barby, the 21-year-old puts his light frame on the line in each game to regularly top the Kangaroos statistics with 40-plus tackles.

And, despite the intense workload, Barby never gets to take a break on the bench.

“I play the 80 minutes each week,” Barby said on Wednesday.

“I enjoy it. The fact that I had a good pre-season really helps.”

Heading into the critical clash with Brothers at McDonald’s Park on Sunday, Barby knows that he is in for yet another ferocious afternoon.

Like the rest of the Kangaroos pack, Barby will be conceding weight and height to their Brothers counterparts who have set the foundation for the team’s late-season rise.

“They’ve (Brothers) got a big mobile pack but we’ve got one of the smallest packs in Group Nine,” Barby said.

“I really take my hat off to our boys for the job they do.”

 With so much at stake on Sunday, there is no doubt the battle between the rival packs will be supremely important in settling the result.

Taking stock of the situation, Barby says there is precious little between the two Wagga teams as they strive to join Southcity in the finals.

“We’ve been tracking not too bad, but they’ve been tracking pretty good too,” Barby said.

“They’re a good team and they’ve got a few players who turn a game.”

The barnstorming back rower is also acutely aware that a victory on Sunday will keep Roos in the hunt for the fifth spot, but hardly settle the score

 “It all comes down to the last couple of games,” Barby said.

“We’re still confident.”

Fresh from the bye, Kangaroos are walking a fine line between making the finals and ending up in the also-rans.

Along with Brothers, Albury and Temora, Roos are locked in a desperate scrap for fifth position, while Southcity, Young, Gundagai and Tumut are guaranteed the top-four spots.

Brothers are currently fifth with 17 points, but have Albury, Kangaroos and Temora only 1 point behind.

Significantly, Roos will virtually end the debate by beating Brothers and Albury on their last two games.

Barby is adamant the bye was a godsend for Roos and the team is ready for the rough road ahead.

“Definitely,” he said.

“A few of the boys had a chance to freshen up.

“They’ll all be right to go.”

Coming off success against Junee (42-8) and Tumbarumba (28-22) Roos are chasing three wins on end for the first time this year.

In contrast, Brothers won four on the trot before being over-run Young 34-22 last Sunday.

Brothers, however, played without halves Peter Little and Liam Carey, but they will be back on the weekend.


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2 Temora 32
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4 Gundagai 24
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