There will be more than just bragging rights on the line when the Parkes Spacemen host fierce rivals Forbes Magpies at Pioneer Oval on Friday night in the Maas Group Western under 18's Youth League.
(min cost $8)
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While the Spacemen secured a semi-final spot after their win last Sunday against Cowra, with just two rounds left of the regular season momentum is everything.
The undefeated Magpies currently sit first on 12 points ahead of the Spacemen on seven points, who have registered three wins, a draw and two losses from their six games this season.
A win against Forbes would give the side a massive confidence boost ahead of their last round clash against Canowindra, whose differential sits at a whopping -146 this season compared to +44 for Parkes.
Spacemen coach Sam Dwyer was brimming with energy and enthusiasm when discussing the upcoming twin town derby with the Parkes Champion Post.
"We're hoping to get a great crowd down to Pioneer Oval to cheer the boys on, it'd really lift them to have the town supporting them.
The Spacemen had a very sluggish start to their clash last Sunday against Cowra before running in five tries in the second half, though Dwyer is confident their lethargy is behind them.
"At training this week we addressed our slow start- the boys understand what happened and how to rectify it.
"We need to mirror the way we played in the second half last week, and if we do that I'm really confident we can have a good game," says Dwyer.
For the Spacemen this season, it has been all about defence- something Dwyer sees as the main strength of his talented side.
"Defence usually gets us on the front foot early. We want our defence to be a force, and if we get it right it stops the momentum of the opposition if we're able to keep them pinned down their end."
That defence will really need to be fired up and full of energy against a Forbes side that has proved to be very versatile this season, posting 190 points across their six games.
"Forbes are a really handy side all over the park, and while they've been awesome this season, this occasion lifts everyone in our side up.
" It was a real forward battle last time in those muddy conditions, but I feel like if we can control their forwards it will go a long way towards us winning the game," says Dwyer.
Both forward packs have been able to play with great urgency and efficiency given the 15 minute quarters, and it will be a clash to savour for spectators.
Head down to Pioneer Oval from 5.30pm to support the junior Spacemen, before the big derby kicks off at 7.30pm.
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