Rangers make changes ahead of do-or-die clash with Wallis Lakes

Commitment: Daniel Saul gives his everything and is first to the ball for the Rangers in their 2-1 defeat to Port United. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.
Commitment: Daniel Saul gives his everything and is first to the ball for the Rangers in their 2-1 defeat to Port United. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.

Changes will be made to the starting line up of the Macleay Valley Rangers first grade side ahead of their do-or-die clash with Wallis Lakes on Saturday.

The Rangers, who finished the season as minor premiers, suffered a 2-1 defeat to Port United last Saturday in the grand final qualifier.

The loss gave coach Dean Riordan a selection headache and he has been forced into adding experience into the team.

“The team hasn’t been finalised but there will be changes,” Riordan told the Argus on Thursday morning.

“I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve of what I might do.”

The Rangers lacked execution in attack and showed signs of rust after a week off.

Riordan believes a Rangers victory will be built on the back of returning to basics.

“We were trying to complete the magical pass and it wasn't coming off for us,” he said.

“We have worked on correcting it at training this week.”

The Rangers face Wallis Lakes, who finished the regular season in fifth place, and have found form in the backend of the year.

Wallis Lakes are on a four game winning streak which includes wins in their two elimination finals against Port Saints and Taree Wildcats and also a 2-1 defeat against the Rangers in round 17 of the regular season.

Riordan acknowledges his side is in for a tough battle but believes they will come out on top.

“We have worked hard all year for this point of the season and I know my side isn’t going to let it go this easy,” Riordan said.

“They will give it everything they’ve got and I know it’s going to be enough.”

Rangers defeated Wallis Lakes 1-0 in side’s first meeting.

Wallis Lakes are the defending premiers from last season.

Riordan admitted the pressure of being expected to win got the better of his side last week.

“We are the minor premiers and the favourites, but we can’t think about that,” Riordan said.

“We just need to play our game and focus on our job.”

The preliminary final kicks off at 2.45pm at Dangar St Oval.