By Les Muir

ONE OF the in-form forwards of the Group Nine premiership believes Tumut will respond to the challenge of playing Young at Alfred Oval on Sunday.

Quality second rower Ben Roddy is adamant Tumut is ready to play the Cherrypickers in the semi-finals precursor.

Roddy, who has been in devastating touch for Tumut this year, regards Young as the perfect opponent leading into the finals.

“It’s probably a good test for us, I suppose,” Roddy told WIN News.

“They’re obviously in the top five, and they’re one of the top teams that can take it out.

“So it’s probably a good test for us going into the finals.”

Young is currently second on the ladder, two spots ahead of Tumut, who will finish fourth no matter the result of Sunday’s game.

In contrast, Young is likely to lose second spot if beaten by the Blues.

At the moment, the Cherrypickers are only one point ahead of third-placed Gundagai, who seem certain to cane Temora at Anzac Park on Sunday.

According to Roddy, Tumut is thriving on the prospect of playing in the finals for the first time since 2011

“Yeah it’s good,” the dynamic back rower said.

“There’s a good vibe around the club.

“Probably the last couple of seasons (we’ve) not been where we’ve wanted to be.

“So a lot of guys are excited; the club’s excited.”

Although Southcity is rated a hot favourite for the title, Roddy is not ready to leave the barn door open for the Bulls to walk away with the grand final.

“Anything can happen when we’re in the finals,” he said.

“So we’ll see what happens from there.”

With Tumut assured of fourth on the table, Roddy thinks the scenario suits the Blues.

“So we’ll get a home semi,” he said.

“From there, if we get through, it’s going to be a tough run all the way through so, this is the position we’re in but we I think we’ve got the team to win it.

“So we’re definitely not going to be making up the numbers. So we’re there to go all the way.”

Tumut coach Jared Teka shares Roddy’s fighting spirit and optimism.

“Yeah, very excited this week,” Teka said.

“Obviously Young are up near the top of the table so it’s a good challenge for us.

“And we’re looking forward to it actually.”

Teka has earmarked defence as the cornerstone of the team’s focus on Sunday, with particular emphasis on Roddy and the other forwards.

“I think across the board, but our entire forward pack needs to step up,” Teka said.

“We’re looking at stopping their momentum, and anything they’ll chuck at us will come through the middle.

“So we’re looking for a big game from our forwards


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