Chief executive for the Mater Group of Central Queensland, Ian Mill, meets up with captains Blake Perkins and Jono Bradbury ahead of Saturday’s charity match.
Chief executive for the Mater Group of Central Queensland, Ian Mill, meets up with captains Blake Perkins and Jono Bradbury ahead of Saturday’s charity match. Allan Reinikka

Charity match at Rugby Park

DON'T expect wet weather rugby when Blake Perkins and his boys hit the park on Saturday.

Perkins will lead the President’s XV in the big Charity match against the Thrifty Brahmans at Rugby Park this weekend, but the last thing he wants is a dour forward battle in clinging mud.

“It’s a worry, eh,” he conceded.

“We’ve got a side that can chuck the ball around.”

Even if the weather is against an open contest, Perkins said he and his team-mates were committed to playing a running game.

“We want to go out and have fun,” he said.

If the Brahmans think an opposition having fun is going to make for an easy afternoon, then they should reconsider as the President’s XV still want to go out on the park and prove a point.

“We’ve got a pretty good team together; we’ll give them a run for their money,” he promised.

The President’s team is not just a bunch of players assembled to give the Brahmans a run. Many of those in the side are former Brahmans who would still be playing representative football had they been available.

Former Queensland Country representative Ash Kirk would make just about any starting line-up, while the fleet-footed Mitch McDouall is a genuine line-breaker who causes many defence headaches.

Returning for the match is another former Brahman, Lee Anderson, who plays his rugby out west these days, and he is another who can cause problems should he decide to run with ball in hand.

Family pride could also be placed on the line as the Pearce boys, Matthew and Anthony are set to go head-to-head.

The experienced Perkins also spoke vehemently about the football skills of Nat Berryman, saying he would be a game-breaker playing from the centres.

Perkins said the President’s side had had a few training runs under the direction of coach Adrian Price and the whole team look to be up to the task ahead of them.

Astute Brahmans captain Jono Bradbury agrees that the President’s XV will test his side.

“I expect them to be a class act,” he said.

Bradbury believes coach Price will bring out the best in the team and give them direction to probe any perceived weakness in the Brahmans ranks.

Not that he is too worried, as he thinks his own team is showing promising signs of gelling.

“This game is a good chance for us to iron out a few crinkles,” he said.

The Brahmans backline lacked a bit of cohesion in last Saturday’s trial, but Bradbury summed up the problem in two words – Fraser Booth, as he missed that game but will be back on Saturday.

“He’s our little general,” he said.

Although Bradbury is uncertain of the final selection for the President’s team, he said from what he could understand they would be particularly strong in the loose forwards.

While this annual match provides a training run for the Brahmans and gives the President’s XV a crack at Central Queensland’s representative side, the one thing both captains agree on is the cause for which money is being raised.

This year finance raised goes to the Mater Hospital McAuley Units.

“It (McAuley Units) is to provide motel-style accommodation in the hospital grounds,” Perkins stated.

“We thought it an appropriate charity as it benefits Rockhampton and Central Queensland as a whole.”

Saturday’s main match has a 5pm kick-off, while the curtain-raiser between the Mango 4 Young Brahmans and a Central Queensland Rugby Union invitational team starts at 3pm.



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