ARMIDALE moved a step closer to finals football on Saturday with a comfortable 46-26 win over the Tingha Tigers at Rugby League Park.
Rams coach Brian Dennison said there was “plenty of emotion” after the match as they turned their attention towards this weekend’s vital away clash against competition heavyweights Glen Innes.
“We now need to win this weekend to secure a spot in the finals. If we lose, we’re relying on Tingha to beat Moree,” he said.
“We’re got one week to prepare for this game, which is our biggest match of the season.”
“They are the probably the best team in the competition and I think they’re twice the team at home than they are away.”
The Rams were thumped 55-28 in the last meeting between the two sides back in round eight, but Dennison said they would be better prepared for the rematch.
Despite the potential distraction of their looming clash with Glen Innes, Armidale remained focused against the Tigers to grab two crucial points.
The Rams only held a slender 18-16 lead at half-time but overran their sixth placed opponents in the second period.
UNE Barbarians rugby star Keith Ellis starred for the home side on the wing, bagging a hattrick.
Dennison said he had called on Ellis several times this season to assist his injury-hit squad.
“Keith’s played a couple of games because he likes rugby league as well,” he said.
“We had a few injuries coming into the match so we had to reshuffle the backline a bit and Keith really helped us out, he killed it out there.”
The match was also a fundraiser for the Yeoman family, who lost their son in a drowning accident earlier this year.
Around 150 people attended a charity function at the Armidale Bowling Club on Saturday night, which raised an estimated $20,000 for the Yeoman Family Appeal.
Rams, West Tigers, Manly, Parramatta and Titans jerseys were all auctioned off at the event, along with a number of other items.
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