GRAND FINAL: Turtles captain Brendon McKeown and Pythons captain Andrew Filo.
GRAND FINAL: Turtles captain Brendon McKeown and Pythons captain Andrew Filo. Mike Knott BUN160217RUGBY1

NO FINALS DOUBT: Pythons to battle Turtles

UNION: Rain, hail or shine, the Spring Cup final will be held tonight.

Turtles Brothers coach and Bundaberg Rugby president Luke McCloskey said everything was on track for the final, despite more than 100mm of rain falling in the Rum City in the past 48 hours.

"From the information we've been given, we've got the green light,” he said.

"As of yesterday morning, no training or playing was happening at The Waves sports ground surfaces until the final.”

McCloskey said if the game was not on, it would be rescheduled.

"We ideally wouldn't like to be doing that as players take time off work to play and people travel from far away to watch the game,” he said.

"We'll be doing whatever we can to hold it.”

The same attitude applies to McCloskey's Turtles Brothers when it comes to winning.

The side is closing in on more history as it aims for an eighth straight title.

But they will have to do it without Tukes Hikaka, who was suspended following last week's brawl against the Barbarians.

"He's out for three weeks for the red card,” McCloskey said.

"He's got a lot of experience and is one of our leaders, so he will be missed.”

McCloskey is expecting a bruising encounter.

The Turtles have lost twice to the Pythons this season and against the same side in last year's grand final.

McCloskey said the team's defence would be the difference.

"Our defence needs to be up to scratch,” he said.

"We have the highest respect for the Pythons.

"We need to stop what they can do out the back.”

The Turtles coach said a win tonight, for an eighth straight title, would also be the biggest in history.

"I believe so,” he said.

"For the adversity we've had to overcome, the way we've rebuilt and our new affiliation with Brothers, it would mean the most to the club.”

The Pythons are looking to stop that.

Pythons captain Andrew Filo said their forwards, led by coach Gary Maroney, would need to play well.

"We have one of the smallest forward packs, so we really need to dig in for each other,” he said.

"We won't have a full-strength squad for the clash, but that is the Pythons way - we know what we are doing.”

Filo said it was time the Spring Cup had a new champion.

"We've been the new club and from day one we started at the bottom,” he said.

"We made the semis in our first year and got to the grand final last year.

"Now is the time we go one step better.”

The Spring Cup final starts at 7pm tonight.

Entry for spectators getting is by gold coin donation.

SHANE JONES



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