The Rugby League Gold Coast A Grade competition returns this weekend after last week saw teams break for the Easter Holiday. Round 2 follows on from a first gala round held at Tugun Seahawks (Boyd Street) where teams exhibited great skills and performances. It will be exciting to see what they have to bring for the rest of the 2017 season.
Bilambil Jets v Tweed Heads Seagulls
In this clash of the southern teams, the Bilambil Jets will have the home advantage against Tweed Heads. After a dominant 46-6 win against the Ormeau Shearers, the Jets are on a high and eager to take on the Seagulls this weekend. Centre Luke McNamara and Wade Hall both scored doubles in their Round 1 win, so the Jets are well equipped and prepared for this week’s challenge.
The Seagulls have experienced some changes in the playing roster, and will see the return of a couple players this weekend; including Sione Alofi, Adam Barns and Regan Ogle. Overall, coach Darryl Fisher was happy with the team’s efforts against Burleigh, but knows there is a lot of room to develop combinations in the future. “Although we made a lot of errors against Burleigh, we hung on for every minute to defend and is something we will be doing for this week,” Fisher said. The Seagulls know the Jets are physical and have prepared for a tough match.
Ormeau Shearers v Burleigh Bears
Ormeau will take on the Burleigh Bears at Brien Harris Oval and the Shearers will look to prove their strength against one of the top sides of the competition. After a brutal loss against Bilambil, the Shearers have re-grouped to prepare for this week. As a new team with almost a whole new playing roster, the Shearers need to take every opportunity to put Burleigh on the back foot. The Bears will be without co-captain Jesse Malcolm this weekend after he suffered an injury just two minutes into the first game of the season. In preparation for this game, the Bears have worked on improving their discipline on field to increase possession. Coach Stuart Wilkins is hopeful the team can lift their on-field intensity and pick up the speed of the match. “As a team, we are not just looking at this week’s game, but future games and how we can aim to better ourselves,” Wilkins said.
Southport Tigers v Currumbin Eagles
The Tigers will take on the unpredictable Currumbin Eagles at Owen Park. After losing in Round 1, the Eagles will want to show their strength in the competition. Coach Ryan Gundry was pleased with the team’s effort and said it would be great to see where the team and season are headed, despite only having one game under the belt. “We are training well and just want to return to the basics, completing sets, controlling the ball and coming off the line,” he said. Kelly Benson and Brad Williams will be ones to watch this weekend.
Although they achieved a draw with 2016 premiers the Tugun Seahawks in Round 1, Southport coach Tim Cannard knows his team has much more potential then exhibited last weekend. “The break was good, we got to work on fitness and contact,”. Cannard said. Not overly focused on the Eagles, the Tigers are aiming to complete more sets and use their fifth-tackle options.
Tugun Seahawks v Runaway Bay Seagulls
Last year’s premiers Tugun will take on the Runaway Bay Seagulls. After a draw in Round 1, the Seahawks will be looking to secure a win and re-gain recognition as the team to beat. Seahawks coach Martin Griese was not overly impressed with the match, as his team did not stick to the desired structure. “Although we haven’t had the best preparations, we still need to build towards our structure for future games,” he said. Unfortunately for the side, Reece Worboys (who is a key player and driver of the team) remains out. The Seahawks have been working on fitness and conditioning of players for this week.
The Runaway Bay Seagulls will be looking at this game this week to give an indication of where they stand within the competition. Returning coach Clinton Toopi said his side had “some great depth” and was happy to see the club gain a couple young players in the squad. “(We have) been working on establishing some combinations,” he said. While they have lost some players, Seagull have also gained some key pick-ups in Ben Tuala and Jamie Anderson, who brings another element and level of professionalism to the team. Previous co-captain Matt Gandy has also returned and will captain the side in 2017.
Good luck to all teams this weekend!
Round 2 Games
Sunday, April 23
Bilambil v Tweed Heads at Bilambil Sports Ground, 2pm
Ormeau v Burleigh at Brien Harris Oval, 2pm
Southport v Currumbin at Galleon Way, 2pm
Tugun v Runaway Bay at Boyd Street, 2pm