Frenchville Panthers Green's Lawson Whitworth was out to win in last week's finals at Hegvold Stadium.
Frenchville Panthers Green's Lawson Whitworth was out to win in last week's finals at Hegvold Stadium. Allan Reinikka

Rockets ready for QBL challengers

LAST weekend Hegvold Stadium was ringing to the cheering of spectators as teams battled it out in the finals of the local competition, but today it is the first step for the Republik Rockets in their quest for back-to-back QBL titles.

Two of the Rockets' big-name signings are in Rockhampton for today's “Blitz” when they face off against QBL teams from Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

For coach Neal Tweedy, the games are an important part of the build-up as it gives him a first opportunity to try a few combinations and give fringe players a chance to stake a claim for the coming season.

It is a quick introduction to the Rockets for Pero Vasiljevic, who flew into Rockhampton on Thursday evening and was whisked away to his first training session at Hegvold Stadium just minutes after his arrival.

Travis Reed has been in town slightly longer and Tweedy is happy with the progress he is making to his fitness after opting out of playing during the European basketball season.

Tweedy said both of the star players would feature in games today.

“We will give them some playing time so they get acquainted to the QBL,” he said.

The coach admits his team will be lacking the structure expected once the season gets under way, but expects rival Mackay to be in a similar position.

“I think Mackay will be a bit under strength,” he predicted.

Games this weekend will test the squad of 12 physically as the Rockets will play their three games back-to-back starting at 11am.

The difference to competition games is the clock continues running throughout games.



GALLERY: Rain can't stop riders at Rocky Rumble

GALLERY: Rain can't stop riders at Rocky Rumble

Dozens of riders captured in hotly contested races

Young Rocky-based apprentice jockey hospitalised after fall

Young Rocky-based apprentice jockey hospitalised after fall

He was several hundred metres into trial when the incident happened

Local Partners