WINGHAM have hit injury problems going into Sunday's clash against second placed Macleay Valley in the Group Three Rugby League game at Kempsey.
The Tigers will be without prop Ben Welsh (hamstring) and centre Tim Bridge (collarbone) while lock Matt Bartlett has work commitments. Welsh and Bridge will join halfback Mitch Steel (hamstring) on the sick list.
"We have a heap of blokes out of reserve grade as well, so we'll just have the bare 13 for first grade and I'll get four blokes to back up from reserves,'' coach Stu Baker said.
Baker is unsure how long Welsh and Bridge will be back. However, he added that neither will be rushed back. Hooker Tyne Owen is also set to miss another week.
Baker admits he has no idea who he'll bring into the side to replace Welsh and Bridge.
"But after last week there's a lot of self belief in the club,'' Baker said of the 30-18 success over Old Bar last Saturday.
"We're not going up there saying we can't win. We have the players who can do the job.''
The Tigers have joined Old Bar in equal third place. However, Port Macquarie sits just one point away and should defeat Taree City tomorrow at Port Macquarie.
Wingham has a favourable run into the semi-finals after this weekend. The Tigers will meet Forster-Tuncurry on August 2 - the first week of a split round before finishing the competition-proper against Port City at Port Macquarie. Neither the Hawks or the Breakers will be playing semi-final football this year.
Macleay looked in ominious form when thrashing Port City last weekend and will be preparing for the big game against Wauchope on August 9 at Wauchope. This match will in all probabilty decide the minor premiership.