Coach Wayne Barnett has had to make some decisions with Alan Rothery handed an 11-game ban.
Coach Wayne Barnett has had to make some decisions with Alan Rothery handed an 11-game ban. File

Comets lament loss of Rothery

RUGBY LEAGUE: When Alan Rothery gets into trouble he does it big time.

The CQ Comets enforcer was sent off last week during the game against Burleigh Bears and faced disciplinary action.

Having been placed on report for a head-high tackle, Rothery then compounded his problems with a striking charge which resulted in the Bears being awarded an eight-point try.

He also faced a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

Points awarded against Rothery totalled more than 1100 and consequently he has been handed a massive 11-week suspension.

Comets coach Wayne Barnett said the club would not be looking to appeal the decision as there was video evidence that he had committed the offences with which he was charged.

While the suspension rules out Rothery for the remainder of the 2010 season, of more concern is the fact he will also be unavailable for the first six matches of the 2011 Intrust Super Cup program.

The loss of Rothery and the continuing injury problems surrounding the other big Comets line-breaker, Darren Mapp, leaves the Comets forwards a little lightweight for the clash against Northern Pride tonight.

Liam Anlezark is set to start while one of the players who could lay a claim as the Comets’ most consistent for the season, Tim Glasby, will be his forward partner with George Tuakura coming off the bench.

Adding to those problems is the likelihood of Chris Beasley missing the match.

Barnett is giving the experienced second-rower till the last minute to prove his fitness, but if he fails then his place will go to another youngster, Chris Gesch.

Last week Gesch got a run during the second half and did not look out of place making a determined break to set up a try and not flinching in his defensive duties.

Neither of the Comets’ experienced wingers, Junior Auru and Dallas Williams, will be playing and that gives Joe Collins-Soo another start while Cooper Nobbs replaces Daniel Pickering, who was exposed defensively against Burleigh.

Former Illawarra junior and current Norths player Mark Webb will get some minutes off the interchange bench.

Webb plays in the halves and Barnett is keen to see what he can offer Comets as the club looks towards 2011.

“He’s a likely lad, but it hard to judge how he is going in club football,” Barnett said.

Tonight’s opponent, Northern Pride, will be tough – but only if all its first-choice players are available.

The side has had a roller-coaster season and sometimes travels with a squad light on experience.

Kick-off is at 7pm.

THE TEAM

The team to meet Northern Pride in Round 18 today at Browne Park is:

1: Matt Minto 2. Cooper Nobbs 3. Jade Williams 4. Josh Bishop 5. Joe Collins-Soo 6. Guy Williams 7. Ian Webster 8. Tim Glasby 9. Marc Fickling 10. Liam Anlezark 11. Tyron Haynes 12. (Chris Beasley) Chris Gesch 13. Mick Esdale 14. Lewis McPhail 15. George Tuakura 16. Mark Webb

Points after round 17: Norths 26, Souths Logan 24, Wynnum Manly 21, Redcliffe 20, Burleigh 19, Sunshine Coast 18, Mackay 18, Northern Pride 18, Tweed Heads 14, Easts 10, Comets 10, Ipswich 6.



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