Rugby Union, CQ Brahmans vs GRUFC, Meteor's Oval, Gladstone. CQ Brahmans players fly for the ball.
Rugby Union, CQ Brahmans vs GRUFC, Meteor's Oval, Gladstone. CQ Brahmans players fly for the ball. Tom Huntley

Gladstone coach sees good things despite loss to Brahmans

GLADSTONE Rugby Union coach Henry Holdaway was positive about his team's performance despite losing 49-7 to the CQ Brahmans.

"Unfortunately we lost by a big margin, but we provided a good game," he said.

"We played four quarters. The best of it was in the first two quarters where the boys played really good."

Holdaway said the loss was attributed to the unmatched skill level of teams in the pre-season game.

"The team we were playing against was as good as a rep side," Holdaway said.

"Six players combined to make that side so we were a normal side and they were some of the best players in the competition."

Gladstone plans to work on their attack.

"We managed to play a really organised brand of rugby," Holdaway said.

"All the guys knew what we wanted to achieve and stuck to game plan. Sometimes, unfortunately, we weren't able to penetrate the defence."

Holdaway said the game was a good experience. "It's a positive sign. If we can play like that, no doubt we can beat other teams in the future." The weather did not affect play. "It was perfect conditions," Holdaway said.

Central Queensland Brahmans' coach Steve Anderson requires team member's parents to sign consent forms so their boys can play senior representative footy.

But former Rockhampton Grammar students Alex Creedon and Zach Shanks stood out from their peers and Anderson viewed the pair as capable of stepping up to play for the Brahmans.

The pair, who played blindside flanker and open side flanker respectively, kitted up for the Brahmans in their preseason hit out against CQ club side Gladstone, on Saturday, at Gladstone's Meteors Oval.

"It was a big debut for a 17-year-old to make and a huge step up from playing school boy rugby to playing for the Brahmans. We had to get their mum and dad to sign consent forms before they could play but it really highlights the development program we have in place for the kids...they boys handled the step up extremely well," Anderson said.

The youngsters were part of a 31-man squad that travelled south for their only hit out before they go up against Darling Downs at Biloela next Saturday, where they will make a bid to win back the Cattlemen's Cup.

All of the squad were given a run allowing Anderson to see what each player had to offer, and while it was still very early days, the coach liked what he saw as his side dominated Gladstone to win.

"If you look at the corresponding game against Mackay this time last year, we are so far ahead - having the bulk of the same squad, a strong development program and squad really helps," he said.

Eric Smythe led the backline well from fly-half and also performed well during a stint at inside-centre, while right wing Brodie Dreger crossed the chalk twice and put his hand up for a spot in team to play Darling Downs.

The forwards will be a continual work in progress, but the pack showed they were adhering forwards' coach Tom Moore's advice, with improved set pieces.

Both line outs and scrums were an area the coaching staff would be stressing at training ahead of the Brahmans' first 2013 Graincorp Queensland Country Championship game against Western Queensland next month.

Anderson will name a 22-man team to play Darling Downs for the Cattlemen's Cup on Saturday at Biloela early this week.

Players wanting to get involved can practise with the Gladstone team at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.



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