Mustangs can?t afford to lose

Rugby League

MURWILLUMBAH coach Con Theodossiou is expecting a fired-up South Tweed to provide a stern test for his club's top-two aspirations in tomorrow's derby at Dave Burns Field from 2.45pm.

Theodossiou is wary of a Koalas outfit that always lifts against the Mustangs.

Murwillumbah can't afford a loss if it wants to stay in the top two and keep the pressure on competition leaders Seagulls, who travel to Byron tomorrow.

"We know they are a good attacking side, and while they let a few in, whichever team defends best on the day will win," Theodossiou said.

South Tweed came close to pulling off a victory the last time the clubs played.

Koalas coach Brock Mathers said he was confident the side, which is out of finals contention, would finish the season strongly.

nMeanwhile, Seagulls will be without five-eighth Paul Rolls for tomorrow's clash against Byron Bay.

Rolls copped a one-week ban for being sent-off last week. Hooker Andrew Cross slots into the playmaker role, while youngster Curtis Finn - one of three talented teens in tomorrow's starting side - will play hooker.

Coach Troy McCarthy is using the game to see how Finn, who has a scholarship with Parramatta, second-rower Michael Keating and centre Jamie Sinclair handle the higher level.

Cudgen has the bye.

MURWILLUMBAH: Shannon Murphy, Ryan Murphy, Jason Willis, Brad Wann, Ricky Lang, Matt Harley, Ben White, Lyndon Murphy, Steve Kirkham, Jarrod Brown, Jarrod Flick, Daniel Gray, Lionel Foster. Interchange: Robert Reid.

SOUTH TWEED: Gene Slockee, Thomas Philips, Matt Smith, Doug Slockee, Isaac Jackey, Matt Manning, Matt Nuttal, Brock Mathers, Craig Nipperess, Joe Tuala, Chris Humphries, Michael Kelly, Kane Stannard. Interchange: Mark Mulherin.

SEAGULLS: Shane Hollands, Jeremy Walters, Jamie Sinclair, James Wood, Justin Carter, Andrew Cross, Daniel Evans, Matt Briggs, Curtis Finn, Reece Vincent, Scott Gray, Jonathon Keating, Danny Maireroa. Interchange: To be named.

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