Mustangs seek finals redemption
THE Murwillumbah Mustangs will reload for another shot at a grand final spot when they take on the Evans Head Bombers this weekend in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League first grade.
The Mustangs, who came up short against the Ballina Seagulls in the second semi-final last Sunday, earned the finals double chance and another shot at making the grand final after finishing minor premier during the regular season.
Mustangs coach Damien Quinn said he was aware of what ultimately cost his side the game against the Seagulls and will be out to rectify it this weekend.
"We played for 60 minutes (against Ballina) and the 20 minutes where we didn't produce cost us," Quinn said.
"We had a period where we didn't see the footy and credit to Ballina who were lethal there for about 15 minutes."
This week's opponent, Evans Head, last week booked their spot in the preliminary finals following a strong win against Northern United.
The Mustangs will be confident against the Bombers side who were humbled by the Seagulls 52-12 in the first week of the finals before bouncing back against the Dirawongs.
They will once again play at Stan Sercombe oval in front of a home crowd that will include the reserves and under 18s sides.
Both sides booked their grand final spots after strong wins in their leagues last week and will watch to see who they will play in the season enders.
The home support will be crucial for the Mustangs, who lost the right to hold all three of the league's grand finals at home after the loss to Ballina.
While the lure of thinking ahead to the grand final is tempting for the Mustangs, Quinn said Evans Head commanded respect.
"Our focus is on this weekend and giving ourselves the opportunity of getting there (grand final)," he said.
"We need to get back on the horse and get past Evans Head and if we play to our potential, we have a really good chance of winning the game."
"We have a good crowd, good support and if we play for 80 minutes, I think we can win."
The U18s game kicks off the day at 11.30am, followed by the reserves match at 1pm, and the first-grade clash rounds out the day at 3pm.