Pickers coach Matt Lantry will be keeping a closer eye than most on President's Cup results over the weekend with Maitland's semi-final opponent to be decided from last-round encounters.
The undefeated Pickers (16 points), who have already been crowned minor premiers, will host whoever finishes fourth at Maitland Sportsground on September 19 regardless of how they fare against second-placed Glebe Burwood (13) at Henson Park on Sunday (2pm).
North Sydney (12), Hills, Thirroul (10) and Wests Illawarra (9) are all jostling for the remaining two spots in the top four of this year's statewide competition.
The Bears host Wests Illawarra at Macquarie University on Saturday (1pm) before Thirroul visit Wentworthville at Ringrose Park later that same night (6:30pm).
Those encounters will determine what Hills require from Sunday's clash with Dubbo CYMS at Crestwood Reserve (1pm).
North Sydney and Hills have superior for-and-against records of plus 48 and 50 respectively. Thirroul (-40) and Wests Illawarra (-58) are both in the negatives.
"I'll definitely be watching those games closely over the weekend," Lantry said.
"We want to know who were up against next weekend and then we'll be shifting our focus towards those opponents."
First up the Pickers meet the Wolves in Marrickville at a venue renowned as home to the Newtown Jets.
"It's nice that we're locked and loaded [finals berth] and we haven't looked to much specifically on Glebe or what they might throw at us. We've really been concentrating on our own backyard and tidying up a few things ahead of semis," Lantry said.
Maitland's William Nieuwenhuise (knee) has been ruled out and is replaced on the bench by returning utility Jarred Anderson (abductor). Matt Soper-Lawler (quad) remains in doubt and is set to undergo a fitness test at training on Saturday morning.
Former NRL pair Pat Mata'utia and Sam Mataora won't feature any more this season after just one appearance each. Work commitments had been an issue. Mata'utia is still being rested following a recent concussion. Mataora last played on July 18.
"I feel for them because they're missing out and they were supposed to be part of it," Lantry said. "Pat's on a two-year deal so we'll see him in black and white again and hopefull we'll have Sam again next year."
The Western Rams have the bye.
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