Pirates confident going into Sunday's Group 3 blockbuster

OLD Bar coach Jason Morrissey is confident his side is on the verge of peaking at the right time.

The Pirates meet Wauchope in Sunday's Group Three Rugby League major semi-final at Wauchope.

"There's no pressure on us,'' Morrissey said.

"They're undefeated, they're aiming for the Clayton Cup and they're the reigning premiers.

"We're going up there to give it our best shot and to tackle as though our lives depended on it.''

Morrissey agreed that Wauchope at Wauchope is the toughest road trip in Group Three this year.

"But we were right in the first game we played against them up there if we'd kicked a few goals,'' he pointed out.

"And we're coming good at the right time. We have a game plan that we think will work.''

The Pirates will field an unchanged lineup from the team that accounted for Forster-Tuncurry last weekend. Interchange forward Michael Spence missed the game but will be a sure starter. Morrissey admits the Pirates have players carrying niggling injuries, but added that's not unusual at this stage of the year.

Morrissey hopes the game is allowed to flow, believing the preliminary semi was punctuated by too many penalities. While conceding his side dropped too much ball in the first half against Forster, he believes the stop-start nature of the game was among the reasons the Pirates trailed at the break.

"There were 23 penalities last week,'' he said. "This is bush footy, they have to let the game flow a bit.''

Despite Wauchope's imposing record, Morrissey is convinced there isn't a lot between the sides.

"They have five or six players of Newcastle standard,'' he said.

"But then again, so do we.''

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