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Iluka Cossacks chase glory The Iluk

The Iluka Cossacks will be chasing a grand final berth in the President’s Cup competition this Saturday at Byron Bay. The Cossacks will be taking on the undefeated favourites Evans Head. Evans Head have been ruthless this year and both times the two clubs have clashed, our northern opponents have slowly ground the Cossacks into submission. The Cossacks are coming off two good wins against Kyogle and Yamba in the normal competition rounds and are starting to run into red hot form. Against Kyogle, Iluka threw the ball around and everything stuck, while the contest against Yamba was played in real semi final spirit. For a club to be out of the competition for three seasons and then have doubts about their viability to field a team in 2016, the Iluka Cossacks have been slowly building not only a competitive team but a team which plays a brand of rugby not seen in many years. Throughout the year there has been moments of brilliance and chaos but the chaos moments are diminishing week by week. Evans Head’s game is built entirely on their forward strength and they do have some big boys and all year teams have been forced to play second fiddle to this much vaunted outfit. Iluka has taken a lot of heart out of both contests this year and had their chance to win both games but wrong options at wrong times saw their chances of winning frittered away. The Cossacks forward pack in recent weeks have turned the corner and coach Wiseman believes Iluka can match their opponents in this area. Isaiah Mutton and Shaun Laurie have been outstanding, and Rob Wake and Glenn Ayres have really stood up when games were in the balance. Form forward, Zac Newton has been missing in recent weeks and his return to the side will add the experience Iluka crave for. The Cossacks backline are starting to play at their scintillating best. Jason James is playing with plenty of confidence while the Lenny Anderson is playing the best rugby of his life. Captain courageous Kris Thomsen has wound back the clock in recent weeks and is marshalling his troops with authority. Maybe in the twilight of Thomsen’s career he can smell success. The Cossacks are celebrating 25 years as an established club this year, an achievement not gone unnoticed by the players as they surge towards a finals berth. As always the Iluka supporters have been fantastic this year and hopefully we will see the town heading to the Byron Bay Sports Complex on Saturday. The game may start at 11.30.

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