GEARING UP: Gin Gin's Benjamin Kuskey kicks the ball into play against the Northern Force earlier this season at South Kolan.
GEARING UP: Gin Gin's Benjamin Kuskey kicks the ball into play against the Northern Force earlier this season at South Kolan. Mike Knott BUN180617NDRL1

Hawks ready to rise above as locals don their jerseys

LEAGUE: The Gin Gin Hawks know it will take their best performance on Sunday to win this year's Northern Districts Rugby League grand final.

The side will take on Avondale in the NDRL decider looking to become the first team to beat the Tigers since early in 2015.

After beating Burnett Heads in the opening week of the finals, the side stunned the Northern Force to qualify for the decider.

"Training has been pretty chilled this week,” Hawks captain-coach Ben Kuskey said.

"It's been a pretty good lead-up for the side.”

The preparation has been boosted by the Beer brothers Klint and Clayton declaring themselves fit to play.

"Both pulled up really well from their shoulder injuries,” he said.

"Thomas Strahan is unfortunately out and couldn't come up after being injured last week.”

He has been named in the squad the NewsMail received with his replacement unknown at this stage.

Regardless, Kuskey believes he has 17 players that are capable of winning the game.

"The focus for us is to try and out enthuse our opponents,” he said.

"We need to be on top of our game early because they will come back with their fitness in the end.”

The forward pack of Avondale has also been an area the side has concentrated on.

"They are a pretty big pack and that's where they are strong,” Kuskey said.

"It will take almost everything from us to stop them on the day.”

Kuskey said the side would do all it could to bring the first NDRL trophy to the town since 2009.

"The town has showed up plenty of support during the week which has been great to see,” the local Hawk said.

"Plenty have been wearing Hawks jerseys so we want to do it for the town.”

The side will play at 2.45pm in South Kolan.



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