The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since round 10 when they travel to Harker Oval to take on Western Suburbs on Sunday .
The Bulldogs are fifth on for and against behind local rivals Maitland but a win on Sunday could see them jump as high as third.
They take on Macquarie in the final round and player-coach George Ndaira thinks his team can push higher on the table before the semi-finals.
“With Maitland playing Cessnock, if we can win, it definitely gives us a chance to finish fourth,” Ndaira said.
“We play Macquarie in the last round so, you never know, we might even sneak into third.”
Kurri remain without captain Jesse Royal with an ankle injury along with former Newcastle Knights forward Reegan Tanner and Scott Dunn.
Ndaira believes his team’s ability to thrive in hardship will leave them in good shape come finals time.
“Our season has been pretty good so far,” Ndaira said.
“We’ve had to fight through a lot of adversity this year, we’ve had a lot of injuries and a couple of suspensions.
“I’ve had to use over 30 players in first grade, which is a lot, but in saying that it probably highlights the great depth we’ve got at the club.
“To still be competitive and almost in the finals with the players that we’ve been without has been a great effort.”
Kurri were 40-0 winners over Port Stephens last weekend but need to keep winning to outlast South Newcastle, who can still mathematically pip the Bulldogs for fifth spot.
Kick-off on Sunday is at 3pm.
There will be a full broadcast of the game streamed live from Harker Oval on the Newcastle Rugby League website.