The last time Kandos faced the Portland Colts, it was Drew Cini’s first appearance in a red and green jumper as the Waratahs earned their maiden win of the season.
On Saturday, Kandos will travel to Portland during the eighth round of the New Era Midwest Cup and despite injuring has hamstring recently, Cini is good to go.
“It’s still really sore and hard to run on but it will get the job done on the weekend,” Cini said.
The inclusion is a massive one for Kandos as the 17-year-old’s influence on the side so far has been paramount.
A win on Saturday will do a lot for the Tahs’ post-season aspirations in 2018 and Cini stretched it further than that, saying the match is a ‘must win’ clash.
“If we lose this game that could be our finals done so this could be the biggest game of the season for us.”
Kandos has the blueprint to beat the Colts as the 44-16 win in round three was comprehensive.
Last-start saw a 30-26 win over second-placed Orange Barbarians and Cini thinks the side should try to pick up where it left of in round seven.
“I think we need to keep playing to play way we have been,” Cini said.
“We have been going out wide a bit more down the edge to Glenn (Osgood) and Ethan (Parsons) is running the ball more.”
A dark cloud hanging over the match resembles a points deduction handed down to Kandos from the CRL, as the Waratahs were penalised for playing an unregistered player in round.
Will this have a negative impact on the match? Cini doesn’t think so.
“I’m not letting it bother me or the team. I think it’s motivated us if anything.”
A comforting factor for the Waratahs is that Portland and Orange were also docked two points, putting Portland on four competition points and ahead of Kandos only on for and against.
The Kandos Tiaratahs will also look to cement their spot in the top four on Saturday as Portland sits just one competition point behind the third-placed girls.
The last meeting between the two side was decided by just four points so it’s reasonable to expect another nail-biter.
Tiaratahs coach Emma Ashford said before their previous match with Portland that it doesn’t matter where either side sits on the ladder, it’s always a close, hard-fought match.
“They really make us work every time we play them,” Ashford said.
”We know it will be tough but it’s a really important game for us so hopefully we can play our best and get the two points.”
Ashford will look to add her stellar, 11-try season on Saturday at 1.30pm before Drew Cini and the Waratahs will try to push themselves into the top four at 2.30.