League rivals battle for early honours
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
MUTUAL respect will turn into cool hatred when Gladstone Brothers and Wallabys clash for the first piece of silverware for the 2005 A grade rugby league season tomorrow.
The arch rivals will contest the Valery-Noonan trophy as the top two Gladstone District Rugby League A teams after the pre-season trials.
Rival captains Russell Groth (Brothers) and Aaron Farrar (Wallabys) yesterday both admitted that clashes between the two clubs brought out the best in each other but also a battle-like intensity.
'It's what we look forward to every year,' Groth said. 'The rivalry doesn't exist with the other Gladstone clubs. We hate to lose to Wallabys.'
Farrar said the feeling was mutual going into tomorrow's decider.
'I don't know when (the rivalry) developed but for 80 minutes it borders on hatred,'' Farrar said. "But in saying that, we enjoy games against Brothers because of the rivalry and competitiveness between us.'
Both sides will go into the match missing key players but their impressive depth means they will each boast impressive personnel.
Hard-running forwards Leif Audet and Clint Doherty will be missing from the Brothers list but coach Matt Jones will welcome the return of classy centre Nathan Cameron.
Wallabys will miss regular captain and fullback Ron Craig who is on Central Comets duties.
Prizemoney is also up for grabs tomorrow with the A grade winners to receive $1500 and runners-up $750. The reserve grade champions will receive $1000 and runners-up $500. Man of the match trophies will also be presented.
Wallabys and Brothers will also contest the reserve grade decider while Tannum Sands have already captured the under-19 honours by defeating Valleys earlier this season.
At Marley Brown Oval today: Under-17 and under-19 Central Queensland divisional trials from midday to 8pm. At Marley Brown Oval tomorrow: Valery-Noonan finals ? 1.30pm reserve grade, 3pm A grade Brothers v Wallabys. Curtain raisers between Port Curtis and Bundaberg under10, 11 and 12 teams to start at 10.30am.