Greater Northern Tigers coach Darryl Rando made a tactical decision to keep young prop Jake Clydsdale on the bench for the first 10 minutes of last week’s Laurie Daley Cup semi-final against the Western Rams.
He started Dan McMillan instead.
But, that lasted just six minutes with youngster injured and replaced by Clydsdale.
It turned out okay for both Clydsdale and the Tigers with the Scone teenager playing strongly.
However, Rando wasn’t prepared to say whether he’d do the same again this Saturday 27 March when they play the Central Coast Roosters in the grand final at Blacktown.
When injected into the game, Clydsdale gave the side plenty in attack and defence.
“I started him on the bench because I thought it would help him and help the team,” Rando said.
“He made some big runs and some big tackles when he came on.
“Whether we do that again, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Fellow prop Mark Simon had another huge game as well.
“I think he’s been one of our best all season,” Rando added.
“He’s played just about a full game every match.”
Simon would have played an entire fixture last weekend in the semi-final win over the Rams bar for a late sin-binning in a tough slugfest.
He was instrumental in holding a bigger pack and giving the side plenty of go-forward.
Simon and Clydsdale will have to do the same again this Saturday if they are to beat the Roosters.
Central Coast’s forwards dominated the Tigers in the wet in their only meeting but Greater Northern has improved steadily all campaign and will be up for the decider when kick-off rolls around at 12.40pm.
- by Geoff Newling
LAURIE DALEY CUP GRAND FINAL
Greater Northern Tigers v Central Coast Roosters
(HE Laybutt Field Sydney – kick-Kickoff 12.40pm Saturday 27 March)
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS: 1 Mitch Henderson, 2 Billy Youman, 3 Blake Johnston, 4 Corben Hampstead, 5 Alex Lawrence, 6 Ethan Antzakles, 7 Pichai Dixon, 8 Mark Simon, 9 Harry Reid, 10 Jake Clydsdale, 11 Luke Smith, 12 Hayden Bull, 13 Sam Fechner, 14 Jesse Cadalbert, 14 Joash Boney, 16 Daniel McMillan, 17 Charlie Parsons, 18 Ned Chapman. Coach – Darryl Rando
CENTRAL COAST ROOSTERS: 1 Beau Newlands, 2 Jacob Smeaton, 3 Lachoneus Paki, 4 Michael Whitton, 5 Brodie Pintatara, 6 Wiremu Tibbutt, 7 Jessi O’Neill-Pethebridge, 8 Daniel Peters, 9 Tyler Moriarty, 10 Lachlan Mears-Crabbe, 11 Jye Boyle, 12 Brody Briggs, 13 Marlon Guest, 14 Leo Elton, 15 Ethan Myers, 16 Ryan Sheehy, 17 Fletcher Powell, 18 Jett Frendin