'We are treating it as a must-win': Seagulls to take on Jets
THE Seagulls have lost plenty of experience ahead of a key clash with the Ipswich Jets on Sunday.
The Tweed side have been in a tailspin, losing six of their last seven Intrust Super Cup games to sit four points above the ninth-placed Jets.
A loss this weekend will put Tweed's hopes of making their first finals appearance since 2014 in serious jeopardy.
Ash Taylor, Mitch Rein and Xavier Coates are all omissions this week, with Christian Hazard and Luke Jurd to start in the halves.
Coach Ben Woolf conceded his side had suffered during the season due to inconsistent team lists, as different players were promoted to the NRL on a seemingly weekly basis.
"It can be difficult, particularly when players are going up and down in key positions but that is part of being involved in a feeder arrangement,” Woolf said.
"You have to prepare every week as if they won't be there.”
Although a loss would not be fatal to the Seagulls' season, Woolf said his side was treating the game as a must-win match.
The Seagulls can stretch the gap between them and the Jets to six points with just three rounds to go, meaning they would need just a draw from their final three matches to secure a finals berth.
"We are treating it as a must-win as it can end Ipswich's year, and in doing so, go a long way to cementing a finals spot for us,” Woolf said.
"The team are refreshed and ready to rip into the the last four games of the year.”
Facing the Jets is always a nightmare for coaches to plan for.
The Ipswich side boasts the most exciting playing style in the competition and prove a handful for most defensive outfits.
"They are unpredictable, but there are also patterns to what they do,” Woolf said.
"(You need) concentration and to not be surprised by anything they throw at you.”
Kick-off for the round 20 match will be at 2.50pm on Sunday at the North Ipswich Reserve.