Brahmans hooker Tom Hale returns after recovering from a neck injury received at Rugby Park against Townsville.
Brahmans hooker Tom Hale returns after recovering from a neck injury received at Rugby Park against Townsville. File

Brahmans keen for crack at Wide Bay

IT IS a hard ask for players to lift after being on the receiving end of close to an 80-point hammering, but Thrifty Brahmans coach Frank Busby said his boys were not just looking forward to today's match but also next season's Country Championship.

Last week the Brahmans went down 86-7 to Townsville and players could have been excused for thinking the representative program was not for them.

Despite the one-sided score, Busby said the Brahmans began the match strongly and could have scored a couple of tries before Townsville got moving on the scoreboard.

However, Busby said less than an hour after trudging off the Townsville pitch the young squad was talking about Wide Bay, today's opponent at Rugby Park.

“This is where the rebuilding starts,” Busby has told his squad.

A number of the more senior players, who might have assisted in ensuring the scores did not blow out, have been unavailable for one reason or another and that is why the coaching staff are determined to persevere with young players who want to step up and represent Central Queensland.

“I was proud of them,” Busby said.

While Wide Bay will be no pushover, it is also not expected to be of the same calibre of opponent as Townsville.

“I really believe we can win this game,” Busby said. “They are at a similar level to us.”

Fullback Mitchell Smith will be out for the next few weeks through injury but the Brahmans has been strengthened in some key areas.

Back into the front-row comes Tom Hale, who will make a difference with his powerful build and enthusiasm.

“Tom brings a physicality to the forward pack,” Brahmans manager Ross Webley said.

Like Busby, the manager expects Wide Bay to be difficult but nothing like the Townsville team.

“I would not expect Wide Bay to have the firepower of Townsville,” Webley said.

Apart from the return of Hale there are a number of other changes that should assist in making the Brahmans more competitive.

Lance Robb returns, while centre Charlie Fetoai has stated he is a definite starter against Wide Bay.

Despite having stitches inserted in an arm wound, Fetoai still had some big moments against Townsville and made his presence felt under the watchful eye of Queensland Country selectors.

Another to catch the eye was Gladstone-based Aubre Harmse, who was not discouraged by the physically superior Townsville opposition.

Lachlan Webley will take a run-on position, while Denzel Mooney will continue at outside centre.

Chris Dawson plays his rugby in Reserve grade but during the campaign the Biloela player has shown he is up to the task of playing in the Brahmans team.

Taking over from Smith at fullback is utility player Daniel Hooper, of the University club.

The Young Brahmans have no game this week.

Kick-off at Rugby Park is at 5.30pm.



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