Rockdale City Suns midfielder Blake Ricciuto says his side has learnt their lesson from last week’s loss to APIA Leichhardt Tigers and are ready to bounce back and secure their spot in this season’s Grand Final.
Rockdale was comprehensively beaten by APIA 5-0 in the semi-finals and now must regather for one final shot at grand final glory when they travel to Cromer Park on Saturday to play Manly United.
“It was a very disappointing result last week but we’ve taken note of where we went wrong and our attention has moved to Manly and how we are going to win,” Ricciuto said.
“We are lucky enough to have an extra chance and it’s something we are not going to let go to waste.
“It has been an incredible season for us so far and we will be doing everything we can to keep it going.”
Ricciuto has developed a reputation for his fighting spirit which has especially been the case during the finals series as the midfielder has been battling injury after being diagnosed with Osteitis Pubis.
“Injury has really taken it’s toll on my season but there is potentially only two games to play so I’m going to fight through it and give all I can to the team,” he said.
“It hurts a bit and I need to manage the injury which could mean a visit to the team physio or some stretching instead of usual training.
“It is a team sport and their is a squad of guys all fighting to achieve the same goal, so there is no way I wouldn’t fight on and miss a chance at making history with this great team.”
The livewire central midfielder plays a major part in Rockdale’s game both in defence and attack as a box to box midfielder.
He says he hopes to deliver the high intensity performances he is renowned for during the Preliminary Final.
“The most important thing for me is working hard for my teammates and giving the team its best chance of winning,” he said.
“Hopefully we will get Paul Reid (player-coach) back this week after injury kept him out last week. His experience and composure could make a big difference but if he is ruled out again we have a strong squad who can cover for him.
“Despite the loss against APIA the feeling is pretty good and we are ready for a big performance on Saturday.”
Ricciuto admitted that Manly’s incredible run in recent weeks will probably give them a tiny bit of a mental edge leading into the game, but said once the whistle goes to start the match it would mean nothing.
“Both teams will be ready to do battle and the side which stays composed will be the winner.
“Getting to first and second balls will be key and that comes down simply to whoever wants it more.
“We are confident we have what it takes and we will be giving everything to get the job done and lock in a rematch with APIA.”