South Coast Group 7 Berry Magpies v Kiama KnightsBerry Showground, Saturday 2.45pm
VICTORY against the Kiama Knights tomorrow will keep the Berry Magpies finals hopes alive for at least one more week.
With the Knights knocking off Batemans Bay last week, they will now have to lose their last three games to miss out, while the Magpies need to win them all at the very least if they are going to snatch fifth spot.
Magpies coach Ted Bowley said their goal is to win their last three games, whether they can make the finals or not.
“Our goal doesn’t change; we’ve still got to win every game,” he said.
“At least we get the chance to play them this week, but then we’re going to need other teams to do us a favour,” he added.
He said having to rely on other teams is not a good position to be in, but the side had brought it on themselves.
“We can’t get beaten by teams Albion Park like we did in the first round, or Port Kembla and then look back and complain that we missed out on the finals,” he said.
He still believes the Magpies are a chance, and they have been in pretty good form in recent weeks, with wins against Milton and Albion Park, while they came close to beating Warilla.
After a slow start in the first half, the Magpies turned things around last weekend to defeat the Eagles 40-28 at Centenary Field.
Bowley said he was pleased with their second half performance, but was unimpressed with the way they started.
“I thought it was a really flat game across the board in the first half,” he said.
“We both looked like two sides with nothing to play for.
“But we still have a chance and got back into in the second half, and I thought we played really well.”
Bowley said the return of Blake Dryden has made a massive difference, while Lloyd Sharpe and Dan and Jackson Payne had good games against the Eagles.
He was also impressed by Josh Ingold, who played his first game at half back in the top grade.
Joe Rogers will come back into the side for the clash with Kiama, but Bowley said it was good for Ingold to get the experience, as he sees him as a player for the future.
The Magpies did not have their best day last time they played the Knights, going down 22-16, but Bowley said they can turn it around.
“At the start of the year, they were a side I thought we could compete with and I believe we can beat them,” he said.
“We need to concentrate on doing what we do well and if we can do that, I feel we’re well and truly capable of getting the result.”