The Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade competition returns this weekend with the Currumbin Eagles taking on the Southport Tigers in the season opener at Galleon Way.
The Eagles had a terrific 2018, claiming the minor premiership and advancing to the preliminary final.
While that result was great, they were hurting at the back end of the season and missed the grand final.
“We had some hurdles at the backend of last year, but everyone is back to being fit and healthy and keen for the season,” Eagles coach Ryan Gundry said.
“Like all new season beginnings, it will take us a few weeks to find our feet. Short term – it’s about getting the little things right. If we do that, we will put ourselves in a position to win every game.
“Long term; we want to be as high up on the ladder as possible midway through the season, so that we are in a good position to attack any unforeseen circumstances. Consistency and hard work are key.”
Gundry said his Eagles have had a handful of retirements but otherwise their retention for 2019 has been good, with a focus on in-house development and giving the young players a clear pathway to A Grade.
The Tigers are another club who are perennial contenders in the Gold Coast competition and this Round 1 clash is set to be an intriguing one.
The Tigers finished in fourth spot last season before being eliminated in the first week of the finals. This year, they will again be under the leadership of coach Steve Dowd and skipper Tu Whakatihi-Taikea.
“We had a late start, only commencing in mid-January and we are still finding our feet,” Dowd said.
“We need to compete hard and with a lot of new players we need to get our rhythm – we are a work in progress. Because we started a little late, we need to improve each week and play a bit of different footy.”
While Dowd insists they will be a work in progress early in the year, the Tigers are still aiming high and are hoping for a top three finish which would put them in a position to contend for the title come finals.
Elsewhere in the opening round of the QTOP A Grade competition, defending champions Runaway bay host Ormeau and the Burleigh Bears travel to Tugun to take on local rivals the Seahawks.
Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade Round 1 team lists
Currumbin Eagles v Southport Tigers at Galleon Way, Sunday March 17 – 2pm
1. Jake Gleeson 2. Bayley Desmond 3. Kenny Allison 4. Jake Smith 5. Mike McKinnon 6. Bayley Gill 7. Luke Jurd 8. Pele Peletelese 9. Josh Campbell 10. Stuart Mason 11. Mike Gray 12. Matt Munckton 13. Harry Burling 14. Phil Ramage 15. Harry Wecker 16. Jarrod Gill 17. Liam Donnelly
Coach: Ryan Gundry
1. Kyle Kennedy 2. Ronin Reo 3. Lee Turner 4. Jack Conlon 5. Corey Walker 6. Kobi Annand 7. Liam Hampson 8. Lachlan Douglas 9. Jacob Pottinger 10. Luke Polson 11. Tu Whakathi-Paikea 12. Simione Ata 13. Kebjarvei Vaetoe 14. Te Doyle 15. Daniel Shannon 16.Devon Toa 17. Adam Kelly
Coach: Steve Dowd
Runaway Bay Seagulls v Ormeau Shearers at Bycroft Oval, Sunday March 17 – 2pm
Runaway Bay Seagulls
1.John Mackin 2. Queille Murray 3. Ben Fritz 4. Dylan Pelo 5. Jake Powell 6.Alan White 7. James Poland 8. Daymeric Pelo 9.Jenan Wedderburn-Parrish 10. Taniel Palavi 11. Darcy Sims 12. Taylor Daniels 13. Tane-James Rapira 14. Kimihia Pakipaki-Hemopo 15. Javarn Nofoagatotoa 16. Daniel Kelly 17. Brodie Hannon
Coach: Nick Gleeson
1. Liam Hori-Clark 2. Brogan Melrose 3. Jamain Iroa 4. Elijah Nicholas 5. Shay Stevens 6. Sionetakapautolo Alofi 7. Grayson Te Kiri 8. Timothy Wolens 9. Keaston Schmidt 10. Anthony Gray 11. Jesse Malcolm 12. Chase Kereama-Williams 13. Blake Midson 14. Jaymz Te Rupe Douglas-Webb 15. Diaz Sharrock 16. Kahil Johnson
Coach: Julius Kuresa
Tugun Seahawks v Burleigh Bears at Boyd St, Sunday March 17 – 2pm
1. Corey Morris 2. Troy Canning 3. Jabe Gamble 4. Tim Cassidy 5. Wyndham Peachey 6. Keanu Te Kiri 7. Jacob Grant 8. Nick Harrold (C) 9. Sam Meskell 10. Josh Harvey 11. Macauley Dawson 12. Bryce Thomas 13. Ayden Lee 14. Isaac Worboys 15. Levi Norton 16. Ethan Roberts 17. TBA
Coach: Clint Barends
1. Tyrone Roberts-Davis 2. Regan Ogle-Muir 3. Josh Berkers 4. Justin Tavae 5. Te McDonald 6. Conner Toia 7. Matt Egan 8. Oliver Percy 9. Hayden Hansen 10. Tyler Sparkes 11. Matt Robinson 12. Jesse Savage 13. Jeff Lynch 14. Sam Saville 15. Reece Summer 16. Gene Ropoama 17. Ben Valeni
Coach: Matt Foster