THE Parkes Spacemen will face arch rivals Dubbo CYMS in the qualifying semi-final this Sunday at Pioneer Oval.
Nanjing Night Net

The rivalry between the Spacemen and the defending premier CYMS is a respectful one, with the teams meeting in several grand finals over the past decade.

A large crowd is expected to watch the match as all three grades of the Spacemen will be on show.

The Spacemen are hoping to name a full strength first grade side for the clash – the winner of which will play minor premiers Macquarie Raiders the following week; while the loser has a second chance against the winner of the elimination semi-final between Nyngan and Wellington.

Captain-coach Pat Rosser is one of those under an injury cloud and is hopeful of making his return on Sunday.

“I won’t play if I don’t think I can make it through the entire 80 minutes,” Pat said.

“It has been a frustrating injury and you never really know if it is right until you give it a workout under game conditions”.

Rosser’s possible return means Daniel Stuart will shift into fullback, allowing him back into the centres. The Spacemen have been in solid form over the past few weeks, yet according to Rosser, they still have areas to work on.

“Our completion rate against Wellington last Sunday was not good enough,” he said.

“In a finals match you can’t afford to not do the basics right.

“We will need to go into Sunday’s game with the right attitude, work hard for each other, and make sure we play finals football.

“CYMS are a good squad and we will need to have a solid-kicking game, be strong in defence, and minimise their attacking opportunities”.

These matches are often won by the better defensive team and Sunday’s match is unlikely to be any different.

The sides have very similar defensive records with Parkes conceding only 299 and Cyms 323.

But the Spacemen have shown over the entire season that they can score points – 630 so far (well in front of Cyms 559).

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