Kurri Kurri mentor Ron Griffiths reckons his players remain focused on their virtual semi-final against Western Suburbs at Harker Oval on Sunday despite the Bulldogs not yet announcing next year’s coach.
Griffiths said the 2019 coaching matter wasn’t a distraction ahead of the penultimate-round clash, which will be a replay of the catch-up game in Kurri less than a fortnight ago.
“I don’t think so,” Griffiths, in his second season at the helm, said.
“The players just get on with the job they have to do and let me do my job.
“I met with the club last week, so hopefully there will be something sooner rather than later.”
The Bulldogs have won their last two matches to join upcoming opponents Wests in a share of fifth spot on a congested Newcastle Rugby League ladder.
On the other hand Wests, last year’s minor premiers and grand finalists, go into the encounter off the back of two straight losses.
The spoils between the two teams are split at one apiece in 2018 – most recently 20-12 to Kurri on August 4 and 18-10 to Wests on June 2. Both fixtures were played in the Coalfields.
“It might not be a local derby, but there’s a fair bit of rivalry there,” Griffiths said.
“It has all the hallmarks of a semi-final.”
Winner of the third and deciding battle will move inside the top five with one round remaining. Kurri are then due to host Maitland on August 25 while Wests visit last-placed Macquarie on the same Saturday afternoon.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.