Narwan Eels host Armidale Rams in the local derby on Saturday

STAGE IS SET: Narwan's Jeanette Waters, Vincent Moran, Wes Kelly, Peter Moran and Jay Cohen with the Rams' Terry Carson, Steve Coleman, Mike Ware and Kate McCulloch.

STAGE IS SET: Narwan's Jeanette Waters, Vincent Moran, Wes Kelly, Peter Moran and Jay Cohen with the Rams' Terry Carson, Steve Coleman, Mike Ware and Kate McCulloch.

It has been 11 years in the making but the battle for local glory comes to a head this Saturday when Narwan Eels face off against cross-town rivals Armidale Rams.

The stage is set for the hosts to return to Armidale turf for the first time since their re-entry into Group 19 after their opening clash scheduled for Newling Oval was washed out. 

Narwan coach Peter Moran said the club can’t wait to take to the field for this weekend’s highly-anticipated encounter. 

"It is going to be exciting for not only the players but the community as well,” he said.

"We have been sitting out for 11 years now and we have been looking forward to this for a while.

"For myself it is going to be very exciting and I can't wait until Saturday.

"The talk around town, everywhere I go people have been talking about it.

The Eels’ first match back in the Group was a success with a tight, two point win over Tingha Tigers.

"It was a tough win, we went to Tingha and the boys were a little bit rusty because we didn't have any trial matches either, so to go over there and get the two points of Tingha was really great for the club and our supporters that travelled too,” Moran said. 

For the Rams, the round three match is a chance at redemption after they were thumped in the opening two games by the Moree Boomerangs and Glen Innes Magpies.

Their defensive line leaked points in those matches but player-coach Steve Coleman believes his team are better prepared this week to muscle up and combat Narwan's speedsters. 

"What we need to work on a lot is our defence,” he said. 

"We have been working on it a lot in the last two weeks and hopefully we have been improving and it gets a little better than what we did against Glen Innes and Moree.

"Especially getting three in the tackles and working on the ground. 

"We have been working a lot in training on our fitness as well and hopefully it shows this Saturday.” 

The ladies league tag match will commence the local derby at 12pm followed by reserve grade.

The first grade game gets underway at 3pm.

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