Wentworthville Magpies remain outright competition leaders heading into Round 16 of the Sydney Shield with a game in hand.
Windsor Wolves, Hills District Bulls, Peninsula Seagulls and Mounties take up the next four spots on the ladder, with only three competition points separating these teams.
There are only two competition points between the bottom four teams, who are trying to force their way into a congested top eight.
One of those teams is the Belrose Eagles, who travel to Aubrey Keech Reserve this Saturday to take on Mounties.
Eagles coach James Mortimer declares this game as a must win.
“We’re going to have to do a Parramatta ’09 to make the finals, but it is [a must win],” said Mortimer.
It’s a vital game for the Eagles, with the side focusing on their completion rate.
In order to match it with Premiership contenders, Mounties, Mortimer asserts the need to focus on the ‘one-percenters’ and do the little things right.
“We just need to do everything at 100 percent,” said Mortimer.
“We just need to play our best game until the 80 minute mark, and probably [focus on our] completion rate.”
Seven of the Eagles nine losses have been by 10 points or less. They must capitalise the close contests if they are set to become competition threats.
Mounties are on a four-match winning streak and are carrying plenty of momentum and confidence into the match.
In other games this weekend, seventh-placed Blacktown Workers will host the tenth-placed Auburn Warriors at H.E. Laybutt Sporting Complex, with both teams looking to secure a finals berth in the back end of the season.
In a battle of the birds, Asquith Magpies take on Western Suburbs Magpies at Storey Park. These two teams sit at the bottom of the ladder and a win will go a long way in avoiding the dreaded wooden spoon.
Cabramatta Two Blues face the challenge of playing competition-leaders Wentworthville Magpies at New Era Stadium. They currently sit in eighth position and this match is a test of their premiership credentials.
Peninsula Seagulls travel to Crestwood Oval to face Hills District Bulls in a third-verses-fourth showdown. Hills District currently sit one competition point ahead of the Seagulls, and the fact that there are so many sides lingering towards the top of the ladder says that this is an extremely important game.
Finally, East Campbelltown Eagles are aiming to move further up the top eight when they take on the second-placed Windsor Wolves at Waminda Oval this Sunday.