Ni­chol bat­tles ‘wall’ Ra­chita

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JA­COB GRAMS

BEST mates off the field, fierce ri­vals on it.

In a State of Ori­gin-style con­test, Kyle Ni­chol and An­drei Ra­chita will throw friend­ship out the win­dow for 90 min­utes tonight in the most an­tic­i­pated FNQ Foot­ball clash of 2018 be­tween Mar­lin Coast and South­side Comets.

What’s more, the pair will be mark­ing each other and Ni­chol knows just how tough a task he will have to con­tinue his re­mark­able goalscor­ing run of nine goals in five games.

“I like to call An­drei a bit of a brick wall and it’s hard to get past,” he said. “We’re just mak­ing sure we’re both ready for the game and it should be fun try­ing to get a goal or two past him.”

Ni­chol said his form was down to sim­ply en­joy­ing the game with the be­lief of the coach and a strong team be­hind him pro­vid­ing im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice. He ex­pected the mid­field bat­tle to be the de­cid­ing fac­tor in the match.

“The level of play is def­i­nitely go­ing to step up this week­end, but I think if we go about things how we’ve been do­ing it for the past five games, I think we’ll give them a good push,” Ni­chol said.

Ra­chita said brag­ging rights would come down to the best­pre­pared team, but he was ready to im­pro­vise to stop his mate.

“He’s very gifted tech­ni­cally, so we have to watch out for those lit­tle plays and lit­tle com­bos where they make some­thing out of nothing,” he said. “I man­aged to stop him last sea­son and in the FFA Cup this year, so what I’m do­ing seems to be work­ing. “I al­ways have a plan.” He said the Comets looked to lift the stan­dard ev­ery week and were keen for the chal­lenge at Pen­nell Field as they looked to re­main “in­vin­ci­ble”.

RI­VAL MATES: Mar­lin Coast's Kyle Ni­chol and South­side Comets’ An­drei Ra­chita. Pic­ture: ANNA ROGERS

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