Tough test: NRL star to lead Miners against Yeppoon
RUGBY LEAGUE: Former NRL star Chris Sandow will lead a star-studded Moranbah Miners team in a pre-season trial against the Yeppoon Seagulls this weekend.
Yeppoon coach Scott Minto is promising a "cracking game of footy” when the two talented outfits go head to head at Webb Park at 6pm on Saturday.
He said he was pleased his players could get some reward for their efforts during what had been a gruelling pre-season.
"It will be a good test for our boys and it's probably safe to say it will be one of our toughest of the year,” Minto said.
"We've got a good-looking squad and Moranbah have got plenty of talent so it should be a great contest.
"We've had the best pre-season since I've been at the club. I think we're probably 20 per cent ahead of where we were this time last year as a squad.”
Saturday's game against Moranbah is sure to provide a good form guide for the Seagulls.
Sandow will be joined by Matt Minto and Jason Shirnack, who have also played at the NRL level, as well as ex-Broncos under-20s hard man Ben Faulkner and former Capras favourite Reece Baker.
The Seagulls will be bolstered by inspirational forward Gavin Hiscox, who will play his first game for the club since calling time last year on his 129-game Intrust Super Cup career with the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras.
"Gavin's been tremendous and adds another dimension for us,” Minto said.
"They talk about forwards winning football games and he's certainly capable of helping us do that.
"He will be leading the way for our young forwards and they'll learn a lot from him by watching how he goes about his business on the training paddock and the playing field.”
Minto said there was plenty of talent in the Seagulls squad this year.
"It's exciting times for us. Our young players are growing every year to a point where a number of them are pressing their claims for Capras selection.
"We've also gained some quality players including the returning Christian Davies, who played in our last two premiership wins, and Luke Guinane who won the Ollie Howden Medal a few years ago.
"We're looking forward to the 2018 season. We're definitely heading in the right direction and I'm really happy with that.”
Minto is expecting a huge crowd to pack into Webb Park on Saturday, with spectators to be treated to a full afternoon of football.
The Sea Gals women's team will play its first game for Yeppoon against Backwater and a composite Yeppoon men's team will play the Blackwater Crushers A-graders in the lead-up to the big one.
Gates open at 2.30pm. Tickets are available at the gate.
- 3pm: Yeppoon Sea Gals v Blackwater Crushettes
- 4.30pm: Combined Yeppoon composite v Blackwater A-grade
- 6pm: Yeppoon Seagulls v Moranbah Miners.