MAINSTAY: Paul Tema is one of the Goats' keys.
MAINSTAY: Paul Tema is one of the Goats' keys. Amanda Ball

It's a game one forfeit for the Goats

RUGBY UNION: Gladstone Rugby Union Football Club Goats have struck a major hurdle.

And that's before the Rugby Capricornia season has even started.

GRUFCs were scheduled to start its round one campaign against Frenchville tonight at Marley Brown Oval, but again a lack of numbers has forced the club to forfeit the A-grade match.

Club president David O'Brien said it's an ongoing problem where players find it difficult to commit from week to week due to various reasons.

"We have got no front row at the minute and if you don't have that then you can't play," a disappointed O'Brien said.

"We won't be risking players."

Goats had the help of Biloela to help them field full teams in several matches last season in a year which began shakily, but ended strong where they finished fourth.

Goats were knocked out of the finals by Rockhampton Brothers a week after a heroic overtime win against Frenchville last year.

That in itself can shed a positive outlook in that the club can recover and be competitive.

But only if player numbers improve and O'Brien said they are out there.

"We had key players leave the club and the season has started earlier than last year for some reason," he said.

"The thing for me is that we know that there are players out there and it is a sport that is for all shapes, sizes and ability."

Off the field, O'Brien said the club is in excellent shape.

"Financially, we are in the best position that we can be," he said.

"We have received a sports government grant and have all the facilities."

O'Brien added the current core group of players headed by Paul Tema, Adam Conway, Eamon Chapman and Adam Edmistone are 'keen as mustard' and were bitterly disappointed that round one will not happen.

But he is hopeful and confident that Goats will gather enough players for round two - an away encounter against Colts in Rockhampton next Saturday.

"We have a couple of new faces as well and hope to get on the bus to travel away and have some fun," O'Brien said.

New players are welcome to join the club and trainings are held each Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm at Briffney Creek behind Harvey Road Tavern.

O'Brien can also be contacted on 0419720389.



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