Forwards must front
IF THE Thrifty Brahmans are going to get up over Townsville tonight it will be due, in part, to the determination of Tom Hale and Lance Robb.
The Brahmans have a very quick and elusive backline but that will mean little if they can’t get a touch of the ball.
That is where the forwards come in, building play so the backs can dazzle.
Hale and Robb are two of those forwards.
“We’ve just got to toughen up up-front,” Hale said.
The powerful hooker is smarting after the Brahmans loss against Central Highlands at Emerald in the Queensland Country competition and still wonders how it happened.
“It might have been the bus trip and we did have a few key players out,” he said.
Hale believes the forward pack will be tougher with the introduction of young prop Aaron Longbottom.
“Aaron will add a bit of size,” he said.
Hale is aware of the importance of home support and hopes spectators go down to Rugby Park and cheer the Brahmans on.
“We need the backing of good crowd support,” he said.
But how are the Brahmans going to lift their game to beat a strong Townsville side?
“We’ll try to land a few hits and run the ball up hard,” he said with a grin.
For Robb there is no nightmare of the Central Highlands game, because he missed that one through illness.
“I’m fully recovered and looking forward to it,” the loose forward said.
Like Hale, Robb believes selection to the Brahmans is an honour.
“It means a lot to represent Central Queensland. A lot of people don’t see it that way,” he said.
He agrees with Hale about the game hinging on how well the Brahmans forwards perform but is concerned some of the big names of the sport in the district are either missing or in doubt.
“You certainly notice it when they are not there,” he said.
One such player is Queensland Country star Jono Bradbury.
Coach Frank Busby has named Bradbury on the interchange but team manager Ross Webley said they had not heard from him during the week and that made him doubtful.
Also missing are players like Ash Kris, who is capable of producing an electrifying sidestep and has speed to burn.
Against Central Highlands boom centre Charlie Fetoai suffered a concussion and had to leave the field.
Now he is fully fit Townsville will experience his awesome power when he takes on its defensive line.
Kick-off at Rugby Park is 6pm. The Young Brahmans play the curtain-raiser.