Peterborough Panthers star believes a fast start is needed to book a Premiership Grand Final place, late fitness test for Palm Toft
Peterborough Panthers star Hans Andersen is warning his colleagues to start well in tonight’s rearranged play-off semi-final second leg with Wolverhampton at Alwalton (Thursday, 7.30pm) or miss out on a Premiership Grand Final place.
Panthers hold a narrow two-point lead from the first leg after a thrilling 46-44 success at Monmore last week.
The second leg should have been staged on Monday, but heavy afternoon rain caused the East of England Arena track to become waterlogged.
Andersen, who has spent the past two days back in Denmark with his family, flies back into Stansted to take his place in the Panthers side for their biggest meeting of the year.
Despite their first leg excellence, Andersen insists Panthers won’t be taking anything for granted against a Wolves side who led the league table for much of the season – before Panthers pipped them to the post with a final meeting home win over King’s Lynn.
“Ourselves and Wolverhampton teams have worked hard all season to get to this stage so it’s only right we race this on a good track,” Andersen said. “We want normal conditions on Thursday because we have a small home track advantage.
“It’s on a knife edge because Wolves will be up for it and it only needs them popping out from the start in the first race and they could take the lead on aggregate.
“We’ll need to ride the track like we normally would and hopefully we can get the job done and go through to the final.”
Michael Palm Toft will be given as long as possible to decide on his fitness for the meeting with the damage to his left (clutch) hand the issue.
Lewis Kerr of King’s Lynn had been lined up to replace Palm Toft on Monday and is on standby again tonight. Panthers will definitely be without Ulrich Ostergaard so rider replacement will be in operation.
Palm Toft said: “I wanted to ride on Monday, but when I went into the workshop and sat on the bike I couldn’t grip the clutch properly. If it was my right hand I’d be riding without question, but when it’s the clutch hand it’s a different story. I’ll see how it feels for Thursday and take it from there.”
The club are reminding supporters that online ticket purchases give the quickest way to enter the Arena with big queues at the entrance last Monday before the rain came.
Season tickets also remain valid along with all tickets bought for Monday.
Gates are expected to open at 5.30pm to ensure a smoother entrance for supporters ahead of the meeting.
The meeting would have been screened live on Eurosport on Monday, but there will not be any TV coverage tonight.