Round 1 Preview
As teams complete their final preparations for the week, former Mackay Rugby League Chairman and current Northern Division board member Steve Hawkins casts his eye over the Round 1 match ups.
Games will be contested across all 3 grades this weekend with all teams competing at either the Stadium or Mackay Junior Rugby League.
Game 1: Saturday 22nd March at 3:00pm. Moranbah v Norths on JRL 3
This shapes as a battle between two clubs at the opposite end of the spectrum. Moranbah have been a top 2 or 3 side for the last 5 years or more and I don’t expect anything different in 2014. Norths on the other hand have struggled for consistency in recent years and are definitely rebuilding. While I expect Moranbah to be too strong in this one I hope that Norths can re-discover some of the flair that took them to one game from the Grand Final in 2012.
Game 2: Saturday 22nd March at 5:00pm. Souths v Proserpine on Stadium Mackay
The defending premiers will not have it all their own way in this one. The Proserpine club always seem to work quietly behind the scenes but inevitably put a competitive team on the park. Hopefully a big crowd is on hand at the Stadium for this as it should be a good showcase of Mackay Rugby League. Souths in a close one.
Game 3: Sunday 23rd March at 2:15pm. Brothers v Wests on JRL 3
The Sunday games are arguably the best of the weekend. On trial form I would give Wests the slight edge in this game. They have recruited strongly and will be led by Jardine Bobongie which is a huge bonus. Brothers on the other hand have played two trials resulting in a big win against Norths and a big loss against Souths so it is hard to gauge where they are at in their preparation.
Game 4: Sunday 23rd March at 4:15pm. Magpies v Sarina on JRL 3
There should be a bit of feeling in this one. Looking at the squad lists there are a few Sarina players from 2013 that have jumped in to the Magpies camp. Magpies are another side that have recruited well. A big loss is former skipper Dave Wilson who has retired. Sarina have also lost some key big men but their young side will be enthusiastic and very well prepared by coach Alan Kilshaw. Magpies by 6.
John Donnelly The Good Guys Cup (Reserve Grade)
Game 1: Saturday 22nd March at 12:45pm. Moranbah v Norths on JRL 6
Game 2: Saturday 22nd March at 2:00pm. Souths v Proserpine on JRL 5
Game 3: Sunday 23rd March at 11:00am. Brothers v Wests on JRL 5
Game 4: Sunday 23rd March at 12:45pm. Magpies v Sarina on JRL 6
The M Group Shield (Under 18)
Game 1: Saturday 22nd March at 3:15pm. Moranbah v Norths on JRL 6
Game 2: Saturday 22nd March at 4:00pm. Souths v Proserpine on JRL 5
Game 3: Sunday 23rd March at 12:45pm. Brothers v Wests on JRL 3
Game 4: Sunday 23rd March at 2:15pm. Magpies v Sarina on JRL 6