Whether you’re a fresh faced rookie making your debut or a vastly experienced coach, you could be forgiven for getting excited about this one.
The Maitland Blacks host Merewether Carlton at Marcellin Park on Saturday looking to close the gap on the visitors in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competition table.
Merewether are third on 51 points with Maitland five further back in fifth but a win on Saturday could see the Blacks narrow the margin to one, with a bonus point taking them level.
Maitland coach Geoff Golledge said he was looking forward to the contest.
“It’ just the same as being a player, you always want to pit yourself against the best and Carlton have come good at just the right time for them,” Golledge said.
“We’ve been playing well too and we’re reasonably confident we can match them.
“It should be a pretty tight game.”
Maitland have been excellent defensively in recent weeks but Golledge expects a much sterner test at Marcellin Park.
“The boys have defended pretty well recently and we’ve worked hard on it,” Golledge said.
“This week is a different proposition though, they are dangerous from anywhere so we’ll need to be alert all day.
“You can’t give them half a second, they probably have three or four of the fastest blokes in the competition and they’ll try and attack us from anywhere.
“But I’m confident if we can keep our structure we’ll be fine.”
Golledge was looking for a big effort up front as the key to gaining victory against their top five rivals.
“Looking across the board we possibly just shade them in the forward pack,” Golledge said.
“We’ll devise a game plan that plays to our strengths, in the past we’ve been able to match them in the forwards and they know that too.
Maitland will head into the round 16 encounter with an unchanged line up which further pleased the Blacks mentor.
“There’s no changes for us, which is the first time in a while,” Golledge said.
“I suppose it comes at the right time for us leading into the semis allowing us to get a bit of continuity.”
First grade kick off is at 3pm.