Craig Wilson just gets home for Cudgen.
Craig Wilson just gets home for Cudgen. John Gass D

Cudgen full-throttle

CUDGEN captain Terry Wilson said his troops would be on a rampage at Reg Dalton Oval this afternoon and that’s not good news for round 12 opponent Murwillumbah.

Camped at the foot of the ladder in 14th place, Murwillumbah was already considered a massive underdog against its second-placed host, never mind the fact Cudgen is desperately chasing a win to keep its minor premiership hopes alive.

Perennial top-four finisher Cudgen has failed to live up to the hype at the business end of recent seasons, falling victim to inclement weather and several tough road trips.

Fourth in 2009 and third in 2010, the runner-up rung it occupies would be a step in the right direction at season’s end and secure a home semi-final.

But with merely three points separating his men and front-runner Casino with two rounds remaining, Wilson said the minor premiership was his main concern today.

“We won’t get much more of an opportunity to win it all than this year,” he said.

“Our goal at the start of season was a top-two finish and home semi-final, but we’ve played ourselves into a position to win, and that’s what we’re going to do.

“But we have gained experience from our last couple of finals campaigns and hopefully we have learnt from it and will be all the stronger for it.”

Excuses aside, nothing less than a top-two berth would be acceptable this season.

In fact, given Cudgen’s run home it’s no surprise Wilson said he wouldn’t be happy to settle for anything less than at least the minor premiership.

While Cudgen clashes with wooden-spoon contender Murwillumbah before closing out the season against embattled sixth-placed team South Tweed, Casino faces the much taller task of first overcoming Lennox Head (third), before working out how to dismantle old nemesis Ballina (fourth).

“Casino have a couple of good, hard games coming into the finals,” Wilson said.

“Not that ours are easy, but on paper we certainly have the better run home and as long as we keep winning we’re a chance for the title if Casino slip up, which they are every chance to.”

Casino remains favourite for the crown ahead of today’s penultimate round, but the odds would swing dramatically if Cudgen was to record an outright over the next two Saturdays and secure the maximum 14 points.

However, Wilson said while it would be nice, it was not a priority.

Assuming Casino records seven-point wins against each of its final opponents, Cudgen would require a draw with South Tweed to finish on top.

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