No match for exp say Old Boys
RUGBY LEAGUE: For Ben Lorraway and Troy Franklin this afternoon’s showdown at Gracemere is all about mate-against-mate.
The two rugby league stalwarts are behind the ground-shuddering clash at St Paul’s Primary School this afternoon when the exuberance of youth will be tested, and according to Lorraway found wanting, by the subtle skills of a team of “Old Boys”.
Franklin coaches the Gracemere Young Guns, a squad of talented footballers made up of the club’s under-19 players.
The coach scoffs at the idea of the “Old Boys” coming away from this grudge match with anything short of a sound spanking.
“We’ve been training since two months before Christmas,” he proudly announced.
Lorraway admitted his team was not quite so well prepared with many of his squad yet to be introduced to one another.
“We have a keen bunch of young fellas,” Franklin continued.
“I’ve told them to go out and hit (run the ball at) the biggest and unfittest on the park.
“We are looking at this game for a practice match as our season starts on February 5.”
Again Lorraway was forced to admit that most of his own were not that young and many not really keen for the contest.
The Young Guns tactics may be good but Lorraway believes it will be their undoing as his multi-talented squad has the advantage of experience and cunning.
While the youthful team may be the “Young Guns” the Old Boys possess the ballistic missiles.
One weapon in the Old Boys armoury is Cory “Dropsaw” North.
“He is working hard to get into this side,” Lorraway said.
North has made a good start, not on the training pitch but by being one of the event’s major sponsors through Kehl’s Auto’s.
Lorraway described North as a man-mountain who the young players might find unstoppable once he takes off on one of his trademark mazy runs.
He is also confident, after much negotiation, the signing of Dale Shepherd will provide the spark his team is looking for.
The one thing the pair of sparring partners agree upon is the reason for holding such an energy sapping match.
“It is about bringing a culture to our club,” the pair said.
“My boy’s are proud to be involved,” Franklin admitted.
Lorraway was certain his lads will be out to have a bit of fun.
“I think we might be needing plenty of water and ice,” he said promising the first-aid man was in for a hectic afternoon.
The big match may be the feature of the day but a very important part is fundraising for the club and that starts in earnest tonight at the Cobra Hotel.
During an auction of autographed sporting apparel there will be some very special items.
Gracemere’s own Anna Meares has signed some clothing which is expected to attract a lot of bidders.
A Broncos jersey should get similar results while Lorraway is hoping all parochial Queenslanders put their bias to one side and bid big for a pair of shorts signed by Manly players.
Kick-off for the big game is at 4pm and admission is free.