After eight weeks of touring northern New South Wales, the Cossacks finally get to strut their stuff at home this Saturday when they take on rugby powerhouse club, Ballina. Ballina cruelly defeated the Cossacks in a grand-final a few years back. The memory of that loss still haunts many of the current players and they are keen to seek retribution this Saturday at the picturesque Iluka Sports Complex. The Cossacks had a narrow away loss to Kyogle last week, and most of the players have been released from overseas rehab centres after having the harrowing trip home from Kyogle erased from their minds. Just to refresh everyone’s memories, the trip home from Kyogle took almost 5 hours (normally 2 hours) as the bus encountered cyclonic conditions with trees blocking the road on numerous occasions. The season so far has been a stop start affair with teams forfeiting, representative bye rounds and long weekends thrown into the mix which has seen the Cossacks lose momentum since the early rounds. Training over the past two weeks has seen a back to basics approach and coach Wiseman is looking forward to a much improved showing this week. The Cossacks began the year playing scintillating rugby but some serious injuries have seen the locals struggle in recent weeks. The strength of the Cossacks is in their backline and the injuries has seen a makeshift squad take the field with some of the forwards having to play out wide and out of their comfort zone. Ballina have been sneaking along nicely in recent weeks and are looking to spoil the home coming party. But, the Iluka boys have been looking forward to this game for a few weeks now and are keen to show their loved ones what they have been doing on Wednesday nights. The Iluka forwards have always been strengthened by the addition of self proclaimed man mountain, Nathan Callister, and they have gone to another level of intensity. This match also sees the return of captain Kris Thomsen and Thomsen will add some much needed composure to the Cossacks youthful backline. The Cossack supporters have been tremendous this year and last time the Cossacks played at home most of the community turned up for the game and left the ground with high expectations for their local legends. With added interest of a couple of rugby scouts up from Sydney for the game, the guys are going to “ turn it on”, in what will be a high scoring encounter. The Cossacks are inviting any former players (Old Boys) to come along and support the current crop of players and to swap plenty of yarns after the game back at the major sponsor’s premises. This day has been mentioned for a few weeks now so there’s no excuse not to be at Iluka this Saturday for a 2pm kick off. Plenty of seating and canteen facilities will be available.