TWEED Seagulls coach Steve Lacey knows just how important this afternoon's game against the Central Comets at Kingscliff is in the context of the 2009 season.
A victory over the Queensland Cup competition leader might not only elevate Seagulls into the top six for the first time this season, but it would also send a clear message to the rest of the teams that the boys from Tweed are coming good.
After the Gulls' gutsy win over Souths Logan last week, there's little time for Tweed to catch its breath if it wants to square the ledger against the team from Rockhampton.
The Comets will be on a mission of their own - to stop a two-game losing streak blowing out to three. While they will be without PJ Marsh and Guy Williams on Broncos duty, they will have the “human wrecking ball” David Taylor to lead their imposing forward pack.
However Seagulls have their own hard chargers in Brock Hunter and last week's man of the match Daniel Conn.
“Daniel was inspirational last week and if he could replicate that form I'd be ecstatic,” Lacey said.
“He has been in outstanding form and is really enjoying being part of the Seagulls team, and it shows on the field.
“The mood among the players is very positive after last week's win, and I think there's a new resolve among them in how they approach each game.
“There's plenty of intensity but it is better directed now, and I think the key to our success is that we are showing more composure on the field.
“The last 15 minutes of the game against the Northern Pride showed us what was needed to win matches, and since then we have turned things around.
“It also helps to have a reasonably stable team selection, which allows you to build combinations and understanding.
“That has been largely my role in getting these guys to gel as a unit. We have plenty of individual talent out on the field, but when we work together, that's when things really happen.”
Seagulls will welcome back Will Matthews for the game, but otherwise will take a largely unchanged side into the match.
Tweed is sitting in equal sixth place, but out of the top due to percentages, and a win and some favourable results could see them climb further up the ladder.
The action at Kingscliff gets under way today with the Tweed FOGS Colts side playing Sunshine Coast at 10.45am followed by the FOGS cup at 12.15pm and the Queensland Cup game at 2pm.
In other Queensland Cup games, Easts host the Northern Pride, the Ipswich Jets are home to Souths Logan, the Sunshine Coast travel to Mackay, Norths Devils welcome the Burleigh Bears and Wynnum Manly faces Redcliffe.