Comets find help in the archives

By AARON KELLY ? THE spirit in the Central Comets camp was on show at Dolphin Oval yesterday when assistant coach Rick Campbell made an inspirational Queensland Wizard Cup comeback ? 17 years after he last played in the competition.

Campbell, 43, came off the bench for an injury-hit Comets outfit in their gutsy round nine 34-24 loss to high-flyers Redcliffe.

On arrival in Brisbane yesterday morning, the Comets lost interchange forward John Bidgood to illness, leaving the under-fire side with just 16 players.

But Campbell, who played for the Gold Coast in the State League between 1986-88, signed up for his Comets debut 10 min utes before the match after answering an SOS call from coach Neale Crow.

"It wan't a big deal,'' Campbell said after the match.

"It was a matter of digging in and talking to the boys.

"We were 28-6 down and came in at halftime and none of the boys had their heads down ? there was a call to roll up the sleeves and keep working.''

The Comets came within six points of the third-placed Dolphins in the dying stages after second-half tries to captain Mark Henry, Mick Esdale and David Nixon.

Redcliffe raced to a 22-point lead at the break on the back of a high penalty count in their favour, while former Comet Ryan Cullen notched up a double.

Comets chief executive officer Jamie Boon said there was still a "tremendous spirit'' in the club, despite the club's winless start to the 2005 season, and praised the character of Campbell.

"At the end of the day, I take my hat of to him,'' Boon said.

"That's a testament to the guy and indication that he believes in these players.



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