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Last year’s beaten Grand Finalists Southern Suburbs will host highly-fancied Innisfail in Round 2 of the David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition this weekend.

In the Kenfrost Homes Game of the Round, Suburbs will take on Ty Williams’ Leprechauns at Alley Park on Sunday (3pm kick-off), with both sides enjoying first up wins in Round 1.

Suburbs edged Yarrabah 30-26 in a thrilling encounter at Jilara Oval, while Innisfail secured a hard-fought 36-18 win over an impressive Mossman-Port Douglas.

Brothers will look to bounce back from their heavy 52-10 loss in their opening clash against reigning premiers Kangaroos when they entertain Tully at Stan Williams Park.

It was a tough initiation to coaching for new Brothers mentor Chey Bird, who says it will take a while for him to settle on his best 17.

“For the Roos game, I wanted to reward those who had trained throughout the pre-season and put in the hard yards,” Bird said.

“It meant we were perhaps a little under strength, but with more than 150 players registered at the club this year, it’s going to be difficult to find the right players for A Grade.

“I expect I will have a few teething problems for a few weeks, but it’s a pleasant headache to have.

“Full credit to Roos, they were phenomenal and deserve all the credit, but we were obviously disappointing.

“This weekend, I’m looking for a massive improvement in attitude, things such as line speed and willingness to put your body on the line.”

Player-coach Bird will miss the game with an injured back, but said it would give him the chance to have a proper look at all Grades in action.

“I’m expecting a good reaction from the boys – it was a sub-par performance and not what the Brothers club is about,” said Bird.

“I’ll check out all the Brothers teams in action this weekend, and then our A Grade will take on a Tully side who will be traditionally strong up front.

“The battle will be in the forwards, and like most games of rugby league, if we can win that battle, it will go a long way to getting us that first win.”

Tully will be confident going into the game, having enjoyed a 32-4 opening day victory over Edmonton last weekend.

The Storm will be looking for the first win in front of their home Petersen Park crowd when they entertain Atherton, who suffered a 34-22 loss against Ivanhoes.

The Knights will host Yarrabah Seahawks at Smithfield in what should be an entertaining encounter.

“Yarrabah are probably the most exciting team to watch in the competition, and it will be the same old plan for us,” said Ivanhoes coach Alan Benn.

“We’ve got to try and stop them throwing the ball around, and then use our strengths against them.”

The final game of the round sees Mareeba travel to Mossman to play their opening game of the 2014 season, and first under new coach Cameron McPherson.

Kangaroos have a bye.

2014 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate A Grade – ROUND 2

Saturday 15 March

Mossman-Port Douglas v Mareeba (7pm, Mossman Showgrounds)

Sunday 9 March

Edmonton v Atherton (3pm, Petersen Park)
Southern Suburbs v Innisfail (3pm, Alley Park)
Brothers v Tully (3pm, Stan Williams Park)
Ivanhoes v Yarrabah (3pm, Smithfield)

Kangaroos – bye.

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