Raidettes ready to rock Rustlers
GLADSTONE Raidettes are aiming for a Saturday night bonanza as the women's version hope to emulate the CQ Capras for a winning quinella.
Two wins would prove that rugby league in Central Queensland is thriving in both genders.
VIDEO: Meet some of the Raidettes
Raidettes take on Rockhampton Rustlers from 5pm tomorrow at Marley Brown Oval in an afternoon and evening triple header of rugby league action.
The women's match is a curtain-raiser to the blockbuster between Capras and East Tigers at 7pm.
And it's something that Jillaroo and Wallaby's player Chelsea Baker will cherish.
"I'm excited that we're playing in the actual curtain raiser and it's definitely a step up," Baker said of an encounter that is expected to be physical.
"They think that they're out there for a cuddle, but no way."
Baker said that the Rockhampton side has not played much football in recent years.
"Rocky haven't played footy for a couple of years and we have the game experience," Baker said.
This could be tempered by the seven local players that will don the Raidettes jersey for the first time.
Meagan Wex, Brooke Reece, Prue Maeyke, Shakeera Ututaonga, Jess Wickham, Kelly Jones and Kady Large will see big-time rugby league tomorrow night.
For Reece, she has switched codes and will only play her fifth game of league.
"I came from the BITS Saints AFL club and just wanted to play something different," Reece said.
It was her younger brother, Hayden, who prompted her to try league.
"He plays for Tannum Seagulls and I play for the Calliope Roosters," Reece added.
Her strengths lie in running and tackling and she sees herself as the link person between defence and attack as the centres such as Baker and the like to feed her the ball.
"I like playing on the wing and in my first game I played in three positions which were wing, centre and full back," Reece said.
Tracey Harland is another one who has made the transition to rugby league a few years ago.
"I played union at school and Sarah Stewart got me into league in 2012," Harland said.
While Harland expects Rustlers to cause an early challenge, she predicts that the home side will pull away.
"I'm expecting a tough game, but we have a pretty strong team and will hold them up...I think we have got it all," Harland stated.
Nadine Day is one of the more experienced campaigners in her fifth year in the game.
She is a part of the core group of players who were there when women's rugby league first began in Gladstone.
"It's good to play with all of the original girls and usually we play against each other in the local competition, but it's great to all be in the same team," Day said.
She will take her position as either in the front or second row. Dawson Valley Vikings and Wallaby's kick off the action from 3.30pm.
Coach: Andy Butler
Shakeera Gena Ututaonga