Gundagai don’t know when barnstorming front rower Vinny Brown will be fit to return to the playing field.
Brown missed last week’s win over Kangaroos and won’t take his place against Southcity in the grand final rematch at Harris Park on Sunday.
Tigers captain-coach James Smart is in the dark over when he will next be available after struggling with a shoulder complaint.
“He's out indefinitely at this stage,” Smart said.
“He might come back before semis or he might not.
“He’s been carrying a lot of niggling injuries actually this year.
“It’s been difficult for him to really get going off the back of that so he needs to take some time off to try and get his body right."
It is a blow as Gundagai look to reclaim top spot on the ladder in what shapes as a preview of this year’s decider.
However with Kieran Pearce and Trent Skeers both able to come off the bench and into the front row Smart is confident they’ve got to depth to cover.
“We didn’t have him (Brown) last week either so it is not as thought it is a shock to any of the boys,” Smart said.
“Trent Skeers, as he has always done, has been really, really good this season.
“It is probably the most consistent season that I’ve seen him have.
“He’s been doing everything that is asked of him.”
The two clubs are building quite the rivalry.
It came to a head when Southcity scored a 22-18 win in last year’s grand final.
The Tigers hit back with a two-point win to start the season and Smart has no doubt his team will be up for another tough clash.
“There is no motivated needed when we play against each other," he said.
"It is always a good game of footy.
“I’m sure this weekend will be no different.”
Smart is looking for his team to put in a more consistent performance.
While they have only lost twice this year, it is one area he’s searching for improvement in.
“We haven’t been consistent enough this season and if you are not consistent with your effort over the whole game against Southcity things can get pretty ugly,” Smart said.
“We just need to make sure we are switched on for every play and play with plenty of energy.”
There is some good news on the injury front for the Tigers with centre Damian Willis closing in on his return from a broken hand.
Willis hasn’t played since needing surgery after the win against Cootamundra in round 10 but is expected to be back after the bye next week.