Raiders ring in the changes
THE Gladstone Raiders have rung in the changes ahead of their inaugural Wilkinson-Rowe Cup clash against Rockhampton tonight, with sparks set to fly at Marley Brown in pursuit of regional supremacy.
Tannum trio George Tuakura (work), Sione Faumuina (suspension) and John Andrews (injury) will all miss the local derby, along with centre Karl Johnson (work) and Michael White, who opted to leave Valleys for the Calliope Roosters reserve grade team.
Wallabys’ Dan Beahan and Ray Kaestner have been drafted in, as have Brothers’ Tyson White, Greg Thomas and Ngtimainte Rongowho will all have a huge presence according to coach Aaron Farrar.
“We’ve brought some good young guys into the team that are more than capable,” he said.
“They’ve been playing well in the A-grade competition so I’m sure they’ll do themselves proud and it will be a great opportunity to see how they do at this level.”
With no extended league this season, both sides will be out to measure themselves against the old enemy in a rivalry which extends back to the junior grades for some.
“It’s especially important for us local fellas,” Raiders and Valleys halfback Joe Hayward said.
“It’s a long standing rivalry from the under-13s and 14s; we lost to Rocky a majority of the time so it’s a big thing to get one over them.
“It would be a proving ground to show the Gladstone competition is doing better than Rockhampton’s.
“I think we have the stronger competition and it will show on the night.”