Heta confident ahead of do-or-die final round showdown with lowly Saints

BIG ROLE TO PLAY: With regular fullback Jedd Kennedy injured, Caleb Lewis (pictured) shifts into the custodian role for Hawks in the side's must-win clash with St Pat's. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

BIG ROLE TO PLAY: With regular fullback Jedd Kennedy injured, Caleb Lewis (pictured) shifts into the custodian role for Hawks in the side's must-win clash with St Pat's. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Beat Bathurst St Pat’s on Saturday, then hope Mudgee takes care of Lithgow on Sunday.

That’s the equation for Willie Heta and his Orange Hawks side in this weekend’s final round of the Group 10 premier league season.

It’s rare for a side’s fate to be both in its own hands and another’s at the same time, but that’s exactly the two blues’ situation a week after keeping their season alive by beating Cowra.

Lithgow is in fifth, one point ahead of Hawks.

Cowra is one point further back but has the bye and is guaranteed two points.

So, if Hawks lose to St Pat’s they’re gone.

If they win, they’re alive, and will leapfrog Lithgow into fifth if Workies fall to Mudgee.

It’s a topsy-turvy situation, which is exactly why Heta says his side is solely focused on winning.

If the two blues do, then they’ll worry about everything else happening around them.

“We can only control what we’re doing so we just need to focus on winning, and if we do we’ll just hope for the best I guess,” Heta said.

“Winning last week, for us, has done the world of good in terms of confidence and we put a big number on St Pat’s earlier in the season so are going in confident of winning.”

As it has been all season, the key for Hawks in Saturday’s clash is to find the much-coveted consistency they’ve lacked.

“The first half against Cowra was the best we’ve played all season,” Heta enthused.

“Yes, we  took our foot off Cowra’s throat and it almost cost us the game, but there’s positives for us.

“If we can put that together again and do it for a little bit longer this weekend, I’m very confident we can get the job done.

“Then we’ll hope Sunday’s result falls our way.

“It’s tough to pick, but I think Lithgow going to Mudgee works in our favour because teams are always stronger at home in this competition.

“Mudgee are a good side, but I guess Lithgow has momentum and a lot more to play for too.”

But, in a huge blow, Hawks will be trying to get the job done without mercurial fullback Jedd Kennedy.

The custodian – who provides immeasurable spark from the back – was forced from the field with injury during last weekend’s win and hasn’t recovered in time to front on Saturday. Caleb Lewis shifts into the No.1 jersey from the wing, with Mike Smith coming onto the flank to replace him.

Last time around, in Bathurst, Hawks ran rampant, winning 56-12.

Hawks host St Pat’s from 2.15pm on Saturday, at Wade Park.

  • ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Caleb Lewis, 2 Jordan Baker, 3 Jack Aumuller, 4 Sione Tongia, 5 Mike Smith, 6 Willie Heta (c), 7 Sandon Gibbs-O'Neill, 8 Sia Nemani, 9 Jake Blimka, 10 Viane Falaniko, 11 Max Wolfson, 12 Ethan McKellar, 13 Nathan Potts; Bench: 14 Nick Wilson, 15 Kyle Robbins, 16 Jack Middleton, 17 Victor Ward

The story Heta confident ahead of do-or-die final round showdown with lowly Saints first appeared on Central Western Daily.

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