Dalby in a top-four clash
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Diehards go into their crucial round 10 clash this weekend without star forward Jason Wardrop.
The second rower is out on representative duties as his side travels to Toowoomba to face Valleys.
The Diehards welcome back hooker Danny Wassell after missing last week due to suspension.
The Diehards are coming off a tough victory over Goondiwindi last weekend.
The Dalby side needed a late penalty goal to take the two point victory.
Valleys blew a half-time lead last weekend against Highfields, which would have all but secured their place in the mid-season final. Diehards coach Derek Brady said he was wary of a physical contest against last year's minor premiers.
"Valleys are a simple side, they do a lot of turning-under and we will be focusing on that at training.
"This week is a rep round, they are downs a few troops, we're missing Jason Wardrop this week so it will be a true test."
The return of hooker Wassell is hoped to provide the side stability through the middle of the fields.
Wassell's defensive game and dummy-half running has formed the backbone of many Diehards wins over the last tow seasons.
Brady said his side had been boosted by his return.
"Total energy with Danny Wassell, he is our leading tackle maker in the team, he will make up to 30 tackles a half," Brady said.
"He will bring that back and tighten us up in the middle."
Victory in their next two fixtures against Valleys and Highfields could put the Diehards into the mid-season trophy final.
However, Brady said the Madsen-Rasmussen final was the last thing on his mind.
The Diehards kick-off at 2.30pm on Sunday at Herb Steinohrt Oval.
All four Diehards teams will be in action agaisnt Valleys, with the first match kicking-off at 10.10am.
The under-18s are aiming to maintain second place on their ladder with victory on Sunday.
Reserve-grade can leap frog Valleys on the ladder with a win.