In his second season with Gundagai, lock Luke Berkrey is looking to make sure he returns for another shot at a Group Nine title.
After coming up short in last year’s decider, Brothers stand in the Tigers way of another crack at Southcity in the grand final.
There has been little between the two sides in their two clashes so far, but Berkrey believes the Tigers have one thing working in their favour this time around.
A lack of injury concerns.
“I think this is the first week we haven’t had any big injuries to worry about,” Berkrey said.
It hasn’t been the case for most of the season but they will take a unchanged side into the clash at Equex Centre on Saturday.
With that in mind he’s looking to back up last week’s 32-point win over Junee.
It has given the Tigers plenty of confidence, especially after a big loss to Albury leading into finals.
“We have been up and down this season, but I think we are in a pretty good spot at the moment as team,” Berkrey said.
“I’m pretty confident going into this game.”
On the other hand Brothers have plenty of injury concerns.
Peter Little (finger) and Aaron Wynne (thumb) both coming out of the side who fell to Southcity in the first week of the finals.
Brothers have only won two of their last six games, but Berkrey doesn’t want to underestimate them with so much on the line for both clubs
“They are a good side and they work really hard for each other,” he said.
“It will be a close game.
“I seen some of their game last week and I’m sure they will have some big improvements for us this week.”
Berkrey made a big impact returning to Group Nine with the Tigers, and was just edged out by Gundagai captain-coach James Smart, for the Weissel Medal.
However he started the season at five-eighth as the Tigers looked to cover the eventual departure of fullback Dane O’Hehir.
The 26-year-old feels it has been a better fit for the side since he returned to lock.
“It was a bit of a different start playing a different role,” Berkrey said.
“But I feel like since I’ve gone back to my usual spot, at 13, I’ve been a lot more consistent for the team.
“Injuries aren’t too bad, even one has injuries, and I’ve just had one of those years.”
Berkrey has been dealing with a number of injuries problems this season but never missed a game.
He was back to his best in the win over the Diesels, scoring two early tries and getting through a mountain of work.
Blake Dunn has taken over the five-eighth role and rocketed into Weissel Medal contention by doing so.
Berkrey is confident it was the right move for the side.
“The team is probably a lot happier,” he said.
“Ever since I left there we started to go alright.
“I’m happier to play back there, it is a lot easier job for me, and ever since Blake has gone to six he’s going a lot better.”