Raiders face tough CQ trials draw
GLADSTONE Leagues Club Raiders coach Aaron Farrar believes his side can overcome a tough draw to make an impact at this weekend's Central Queensland divisional rugby league trials in Rockhampton.
The Raiders will take on Central Highlands at 1.30pm before backing up against Rockhampton a little over 24 hours later at 2.30pm on Monday.
Farrar said the draw favoured Rockhampton, who play in the evening at 6pm today before their second match on Monday but said Gladstone had the talent to deal with the situation.
'It's gonna be a hard task but they're (Gladstone) all pretty good players,' Farrar said yesterday.
'Hopefully our fitness is up to scratch and we are able to complete our sets and do all the little things like cart the ball forward, offload and then back it up.'
Farrar said the fact that Gladstone players matched it with Rockhampton players throughout the Extended League competition meant they should be able to deal with anything coming their way on Monday.
The Raiders have enjoyed the benefit of having kept their squad, named in early March, largely intact with only Biloela pair Paul Pyziakos and Ben Masters (injuries) and Ron Craig (Central Comets duty) unavailable.
In-form Wallabys centre Ashley Dodd has been drafted into the 18 for this weekend's encounters. Also in action in Rockhampton this weekend will be the Central Capras under-17 and under-19 teams who will contest the Northern Conference Trials.
Gladstone players in action will be under-17s Peter Rogers, Damon Harth, Stuart Pengelly, Noah Marsh and Shaun Casey and under-19s Mitch Graving, Kelly Christensen, Callum Wilson and Luke Murphy.
The Central sides play Northern zone today and back up against Wide Bay on Monday.
Raiders squad (in alphabetical order): Matt Baker (Wallabys), Chris Butler (Wallabys), Nathan Cameron (Brothers), Ashley Dodd (Wallabys), Clint Doherty (Brothers), Aaron Farrar (Wallabys), Dan Gourley (Wallabys), Russell Groth (Brothers), Adam Hamilton (Wallabys), Jason Horn (Biloela), Ben Platt (Brothers), James Radloff (Brothers), Brendan Rae (Tannum Sands), Travis Ribot (Valleys), Matt Rogers (Wallabys), Steve Surtees (Tannum Sands).