TACKLE: Siua Vai, with the ball against the Turtles, is one of two regular players out of tonight's team.
TACKLE: Siua Vai, with the ball against the Turtles, is one of two regular players out of tonight's team. Shane Jones

Double blow for Pythons ahead of big clash

UNION: The Pythons will be without two of their best players for tonight's match against the Turtles in Childers.

Already depleted with injury the table topping side will now miss Vahiti Hopoi and Siua Vai who were suspended after red cards in last week's clash with Isis.

"We're pretty thin for this week,” coach Victor Nio conceded.

"This weekend will be a good test of character for us.”

Facing the six-time defending champions for the second time, Nio said they needed to be better in one area.

"One thing we need to do is reduce our penalties,” he said.

"We're killing ourselves in the game by conceding them.”

Nio admitted the side will learn their lesson this week.

"The two boys (suspended) are a prime example of what happens when you get penalised,” he said.

"We suffer as a team and they miss out on playing.”

In one positive the Pythons get to see how they go without their best.

"It gives our other players the chance to do well and make a case for selection,” Nio said.

"Our better players will be back next year.”

Facing a similar problem the Turtles will also be without players.

"A couple of blokes will be out this week with injury,” coach Luke McCloskey said.

"We'll be still fielding a strong side capable of winning the match,” McCloskey said.

Losing the first contest earlier this season the team believes they are better positioned this time around.

"The real difference was seven points so it wasn't a big deficit,” McCloskey said.

"If we play for a full 80 minutes then we would more than likely come out on top.”

A win tonight would also put the side into a good position heading into the Christmas break.

If results go their way they could be on top by the end of the night.

"Our goal is top two before Christmas,” McCloskey said.

"We're happy with where we are so far but can always do better.”

The Pythons and Turtles will face off at 5pm.



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