NPL: Edgeworth keep it business as usual for grand final qualifier

TIGHT: Jaffas striker Ryan Griffiths and Edgeworth defender Pat Wheeler last week. Picture: Marina Neil
TIGHT: Jaffas striker Ryan Griffiths and Edgeworth defender Pat Wheeler last week. Picture: Marina Neil

Edgeworth have built their dynasty on defence and coach Damian Zane sees no reason to change their approach on Saturday when they push for a fourth consecutive grand final spot.

The Eagles are 1-1 with Lambton Jaffas but with the advantage of an away goal heading to Jack McLaughlan Oval for the second leg of their Northern NSW NPL semi-final from 3.30pm. It means the four-time premiers will progress if they keep a clean sheet against the team who ended their trophy streak in last year’s decider.

Zane, though, said it would be business as usual for his side, who have amazingly conceded only 16, 14, 19 and 17 goals over the past four regular seasons.

“If we go in all defensive from the first minute, you are defending in a different way and you’re inviting pressure,” Zane said. “It’s just go out as normal and try to win.”

He said Aaron McLoughlin may come back into his squad from injury. The Jaffas have Marcus Duncan (concussion) back and Pat Brown (ribs) passed fit.

Jaffas coach James Pascoe expected a normal approach from both sides.

“We don’t have to score in the first minute,” Pascoe said.

“A goal in the 92nd minute does the same trick, so we’ve just got to play a balanced game.”

“I think they would have seen last week that we had enough chances so it doesn’t really matter how they set-up, we will create a couple of chances I’m sure. It’s just a matter of taking them. We didn’t take a couple of presentable chances last week.”