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Hastings Deering Colts Round 1 preview

When we last left the Hasting Deering Colts competition for 2022 the Townsville Blackhawks were having a backline party at Kayo Stadium and running riot.

The 46-32 grand final win is in the rear-view mirror and this week when Townsville play Tweed Seagulls in Round 1 they will have the future on their mind; the Blackhawks beat the Seagulls twice last season - 20-10 and 40-16.

The Blackhawks have several players shaping up for big seasons.

Ragarive Wavik has been 18th man for the Blackhawks' Hostplus Cup side and is no doubt close to making his debut. The two-try grand final hero will be back again swerving and moving his way towards the line.

While hooker Joel Baldwin will provide good cover off the bench for the Blackhawks and a good combination with premiership hooker Jai Hansen.

Blackhawks coach Roy Baira will be looking to his old Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup half Zac Lamont in 2023. Lamont played some Colts last year after the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup season had finished and will be building on that again this season.

Baira knows last season won’t mean too much on Saturday against Tweed and that preparation has to be self-centred.

“Round 1 has to be all about your systems and what you’re going to do,” Baira said.

“You have to spend a month having a look and then you can worry about other things. I am just going to focus on us but having said that Tweed are always a good team.

“I coached against some of them in Mal Meninga Cup last year and I helped the Colts once that was finished so I have seen a fair few of the Tweed.

“They will be a good team that’s for sure.”

Travelling to Townsville Round 1 against the premiers probably isn’t high on too many requests for coaches but Tweed's experienced campaigner Aaron Zimmerle knows you have to tackle them at some point and it may as well be early.

The Seagulls will be looking for guidance from several players like five-eighth Max Liles; Liles has spent the pre-season with the Gold Coast Titans and Tweed's Hostplus Cup side and will bring back that experience and knowledge to the Colts.

Ryan Foran will be on an edge for the Seagulls; the headband-wearing edge runner will be looking for good service to run off and cause problems for the Blackhawks.

Up front will be Jesse Jackson and Jayden Wright will be providing the go forward that Tweed will need and both have great offloads.

In the other games of the round, the Redcliffe Dolphins will face Ipswich Jets.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Northern Pride will go head-to-head.

Mackay Cutters and Norths Devils will face off in Mackay.

Brisbane Tigers and Western Clydesdales will clash.

Finally, the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Souths Logan Magpies will compete for the two points in Round 1.

Both Burleigh Bears and Central Queensland Capras have a bye to start the season.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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