THE CSU club will have plenty riding on the final round of the Central West Rugby Union this afternoon at Ashwood Park as they take on their arch rivals Bathurst Bulldogs.
While their colts and second grade sides are firmly entrenched in the finals, first grade and thirds still have some work to do in order to make sure their season goes for another week.
If results go against firsts, they can finish as low as sixth while if they can get a bonus-point win and have Parkes defeat Narromine in Parkes with a bonus point, they can earn a double-chance and finish third.
Thirds meanwhile are in fourth but level on points with Orange City (fifth) and have Narromine only two points behind in sixth.
Adding to the importance of the day is the fact that one of their favourite sons and their first grade captain Matt Boylan-Smith could be playing his final game for the students if things go against them.
The hard-hitting loose forward, one half of the ‘bash brothers’ as coach Luke Costello has christened he and Simon Dowling, won’t be pulling the boots on again in 2013.
“This is it, the body can’t handle it anymore. I’m still sore from Saturday,” he said on Wednesday.
The 10-year veteran of the club has captained a side this year that has been in the top three for almost the whole season before a recent slump sent them to fourth.
“It has been a challenge this season, man management has been a big thing for us,” Boylan-Smith said.
“I don’t like it when teams use injuries as an excuse, and every team has had injuries just like us but we seem to have lost a lot of guys who are important in big and close games. That has hurt us.
“We’re playing this weekend with everything on the line, we can go to third, we can drop to sixth.”
The skipper, a Bathurst native, knows more about the Bulldogs rivalry than most in his club but says the whole playing group has the right attitude to their cross-town opposition.
“I’ve played against a lot of the ‘Dogs guys for years now. There is a lot of pride on the line every time you play them,” he said.
“Perhaps being here as long as I have, I care about it a bit more than some of the new guys, but I think if you understand any rivalry and what it is about, you can come into this club and appreciate how big the Bulldogs games are.
“I’ve loved captaining the team this year. Being there for a while and being older than the other guys, you become a bit of a leader anyway, but I think at a young club it is an even bigger responsibility.”
Meanwhile third grade co-coaches Tim Fagan and James O’Keefe will be hoping their side hasn’t left their run too late.
“There is a little bit of pressure on us, normally thirds are up there. There are also a few guys who are in their last season with the club and would love to get to the finals,” Fagan said.
“I think it is still a definite possibility that we can win the competition. No one has flogged us and we got within seven points of Dubbo ‘Roos who lead the competition. They’re the team to beat.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.