INTENSIVE physiotherapy sessions hold the key to Southcity captain-coach Nick Skinner playing against Junee in the Group Nine qualifying final on Sunday.
Skinner has minor damage to an ankle ligament and admits there is a genuine cloud over his fitness for the big game at Laurie Daley Oval.
“I definitely don’t want to miss it, and I’ll be doing everything possible to play,” Skinner said.
“The physio is helping and hopefully I’ll be right.
“It’s not too bad and I’ve got five days to get there.”
As much as the doubt over Skinner is a serious distraction for Southcity, there is more positive fitness news on two other Bulls forwards.
Skinner reported that ultra-reliable lock Mitch Curran and front rower Kieran Schauf were virtually certain to play on Sunday.
Like Skinner, Curran and Schauf missed Southcity’s 80-point cruise over Tumbarumba at Harris Park last Sunday, but their problems were less severe.
“They more of less just had few niggles,” Skinner said.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll be back, but Mick Glanville will be a bit longer.”
The return of Schauf and Curran will bolster the Bulls forward stocks and provide a selection puzzle before Skinner settles on his pack for Sunday.
Despite all missing the landslide 86-6 drubbing of the Greens, Schauf and Curran could land places when the team is chosen, rather than come off the bench.
For Skinner, Sunday’s qualifying game, which earns the winner a shot at Gundagai in the major semi-final on Sunday week, is a chance to reverse an 18-12 loss to Junee on July 19.
“We only played them (Junee) the once this year and it was a close game,” Skinner said.
“We had our chances. They’re a good team and will be hard to beat.”
Spicing up Sunday’s clash is the inclusion of ex-Bulls players Peter Little, Will Merritt and Tristan Dickson in the Diesels team.
The trio left Southcity to join Junee this year and each scored a try when the Diesels beat the Bulls a month ago.
Steering clear of personalities, Skinner refused to buy into any mind games.
“There are quality players in both teams, and I’m excited about the game,” he said.
“It should be a terrific contest.”
Junee will be out to bounce back from last weekend’s 42-12 loss to Young.
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