Orange pair to have an SG Ball

MATT Boss and Tom Satterthwaite are used to looking at each other from opposite ends of a football field.
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But at St Mary’s League Stadium this weekend, their rivalry will take on greater significance than any game the two have played in.

Boss’ Penrith Panthers and Satterthwaite’s Balmain Tigers will clash on Saturday in the 2013 New South Wales Rugby League SG Ball grand final.

The game is a high water mark in the two fledgling careers.

This time last year, five-eighth Boss was working his way into the Orange Hawks Premier League side, while Satterthwaite, an outside back, was trying to do likewise for Orange CYMS.

The pair were regulars in regional junior representative teams, with their efforts attracting the attentions of the Sydney-based clubs, who rushed to secure the duo’s services for the 2013 season.

The moves have paid handsome dividends.

Penrith finished the regular season with the minor premiership, winning seven of their nine games while accumulating 256 points for against 159 conceded.

The Tigers, despite suffering just one more loss, were relegated to sixth place at the end of the season proper, having racked up 234 points and let in 199.

Both former Orange juniors have left their mark in the push to the grand final.

Boss crossed for a try in his team’s 22-6 semi-final win over the Bulldogs and last week played a key hand in Penrith’s 44-nil qualifying final demolition of the St George Dragons.

Meanwhile Satterthwaite has scored four tries in his last three games, including a vital double in their come-from-behind 24-16 win over the Parramatta Eels a week ago.

Penrith will enter the match with the favouritism tag, having easily accounted for the defending premiers Tigers in their only clash this season.

Balmain coach and former St George Illawarra halfback Matthew Head watched Boss’ side destroy the Dragons last weekend.

“They’re pretty impressive,” Head said.

“In round two or three they put 30 on us too, so they are a very good team.

“Hopefully we can go out and play our way, play well and who knows, it’s grand final day so you don’t know what will happen.”

Head’s Panthers counterpart Mark Horo, himself a former NRL player, is quietly confident his side will be holding the silverware on Saturday afternoon.

“They will be very hard to beat in the final against Balmain,” Horo said.

“St George threw everything at us and the boys just wouldn’t let them through.

“The good thing is that over the course of the year every player has played a part.”

The central west will be well represented in the game, with Wellington’s Brent Naden and Forbes’ Dave Cowhan joining Boss in the Penrith outfit.

The SG Ball decider will be preceded by the grand final of the Under 16s Harold Matthews competition, played between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta.

GAME OF HIS LIFE: 2012 Orange Hawks five-eighth Matt Boss will suit up for the Penrith Panthers in Saturday’s SG Ball grand final against the Balmain Tigers.

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