TAREE City might be sitting in last place on the Group Three Rugby League competition ladder, but Wingham coach Michael Sullivan warned the Tigers will be wary going into tomorrow's clash at the Jack Neal Oval.
The teams will be playing for the Krystylea Bridge Cup and the Tigers have dominated this contest since it was inaugurated in 2014. Taree's only won the cup once, back in 2017.
"This is their big day and there's a fair bit of emotion there for them,'' Sullivan said.
"So they're going to be up for it.''
The Tigers go into the contest on the back of some moderate performances, with a last gasp win over an 11-man Port City and a bruising loss to Macleay Valley. Wingham remains in second place, two points clear of Wauchope.
While the Tigers have a favourable draw in the last three encounters, with matches against the Bulls, Old Bar and Port Macquarie, Sullivan said it's no time for complacency.
"We can't go getting ahead of ourselves,'' Sullivan said.
"The way the results have been going shows there's no easy games in this competition.''
Representative second rower Jake Mullen remains on the injured list with a shoulder problem. He missed the clash against the Mustangs.
"It sounds like he's done the AC so he'll miss this game and possibly next week to make sure he's 100 per cent right,'' Sullivan said.
"He's been a steadying influence for us on the edge and edge forwards are pretty important in the scheme of things these days.''
Two players who haven't had a lot of football this season should be right to have a run tomorrow.
Utility back Nathan Maher and second rower Kyran Budd will be added to the squad. Both joined the club this season, Maher from Old Bar and Budd from Orange.
Maher has been named in the centres with Tim Bridge, with Budd on the interchange bench. Tim Watson is unavailable again this week so Jake Wheeler retains his place in the starting 13. Under 18 player Will Gee gets another chance in first grade and he'll play off the bench.