Comets still in contention
CHANGES to the CQ Comets line-up are more about rewarding players for good and consistent performances in the local competition, coach Wayne Barnett said.
While not wishing to heap extra pressure on his players, the coach recognises that the Comets’ season could effectively end on Saturday night if his team is beaten by Wynnum Manly at Browne Park.
Neither team can go into the match claiming any advantage, with the Comets and Wynnum both yet to record their first point of 2011.
However, Barnett warns not to count his team out of contention for one of the top slots in the Intrust Super Cup.
“If we can get two points on Saturday and then two from Easts, in the televised match, then we are right back in it,” he said.
This week Brothers fullback Jimmy McConachy gets his chance in the squad.
Not that he comes in as a newcomer, having had a few seasons of Queensland Cup before injury and work commitments prevented him from playing.
“Jimmy has that bit of zip to do some damage up the middle,” the coach said.
“I’ve kept in touch with him over the past couple of years.”
McConachy was selected for the Rustlers team in this season’s 47th Battalion tournament at Bundaberg but withdrew to line up with the Comets instead.
For BJ Munns it will be a first game in the Comets senior team, as the teenager has only recently moved to Central Queensland from Townsville.
Already Munns has impressed in club football with Brothers, where he operates from centre.
Barnett intends to start the tall youngster, who measures 192cm, on the right wing, where he expects Munns to “bring some gusto” when running the ball at the opposition.
The merry-go-round of positional changes in the backs continues, with Dallas Williams named in a third position for the season.
Usually Williams plays on the wing but was given the fullback’s job for a couple of matches.
Now he has been given the task of playing at right centre.
An ankle injury to Mitchell Zornig has forced Barnett to tweak his positional options.
Being able to have his experienced second-rowers Tyron Haynes and Guy Williams is bad news for Chris Gesch, who drops out of the squad.
“Chris has to bide his time. He is my 18th man,” Barnett said.
Others missing the cut for this game are Brent Williams and Darren Mapp.
Both players have recovered from injury and their form was good but Barnett is not prepared to risk them until they have proved themselves in a match situation.
While Wynnum comes to Rockhampton on zero points, Barnett is not taking it lightly.
“They will come desperate for the win and we have to be more desperate than they are,” he said.
Despite the results Barnett insists his players are not too far away from being a good team.
“I take my hat off to the boys for the effort they are putting in,” he said.
“It comes down to confidence.
"The hole looks a lot deeper than it really is.”
Kick-off on Saturday is 6pm.