Shamrocks coach Paul Ridgway is preparing his side for a brutal trip to Bowral as they attempt to defeat the defending premiers for the second time this season.
After struggling their way through the early rounds of the season, Ridgway's men made a big Illawarra Rugby Union statement when they claimed a commanding 26-12 victory over Bowral in round four.
That match saw Shamrocks outplay their more fancied rivals in every facet of the game, however Ridgway is expecting a far more daunting task at what is likely to be a very cold and windy Eridge Park on Saturday.
"Bowral are top two, they're in a pretty strong position with only two losses, one of those was to us and they'll be looking to square that up," Ridgway said.
"We'll have some challenging conditions, it will be windy and cold, which is a challenge we'll have to overcome, but we're looking forward to it. We'll do the best we can with what we plan for and see where it gets us."
The loss was an early blemish in an otherwise exceptional season for Bowral, with the 2018 champions currently sitting second on the ladder.
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Blacks captain-coach Tim Small acknowledges his team was below their best on that afternoon at Ocean Park, but he's confident the addition of five-eighth Lachlan Huntington will help his team secure the victory.
"Shamrocks have been a consistent performer all year," Small said. "They're always a tenacious team to play against. They got the better of us in round one but if we can do the little things right, we'll be able to compete and hopefully get the win.
"Lachy's inclusion will be good, he came in a few weeks back, tried hard and was full of energy. Working with Lachy in the halves, he takes control of the side, steers the forwards around the ground and has a strong kicking game.
"Also Austin Lockington, who was five-eighth that day, moves to the back, where he'll be better utilised at fullback. He's got good feet and good vision so I'm looking forward to seeing him at fullback."
While Bowral sit fairly comfortably in second position, Shamrocks find themselves in a three-way fight for the last two finals positions with Vikings and Uni.
For Ridgway, that simply adds to the importance of securing four, and potentially five, points on Saturday.
"The three teams, Vikings, us and Uni, we're all hovering around the same point," Ridgway said. "Each of those teams has to win every week. At most, you can only drop two games max if you want to make the final four.
"It will be about how we take each contest and how you work through that. We'll be aiming for the win this week, then looking forward to the next week and getting that win. Looking too far forward is very dangerous."
In other matches this weekend, Vikings will attempt to avenge their loss to Tech earlier this season.
Competition leaders Avondale will take on Camden, while Kiama face Campbelltown and University will travel south to play Shoalhaven.
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