Wannabes prove their worth
SATURDAY'S trial match at Rugby Park was a chance for individuals to cement a place in the 2010 Brahmans – not that captain Jono Bradbury needed to prove his class.
Brahmans coach Jack Lloyd said the match was set up for players to prove they were worthy of a place in this season’s Country Rugby Union Championship squad, and for him, the exercise was a success.
“I’m fairly pleased; I thought the young guys went well,” he said.
“We were looking at individuals and had them matched up against each other.”
Consequently as a spectacle the football lacked continuity with neither backline looking particularly dangerous.
“The focus was on defence and I thought we defended well,” he added.
Members of last season’s squad showed they would be hard to dislodge but Lloyd admitted a few of the younger players who are with the Young Brahmans put their hands up for senior honours.
However, young players have to prove their ability and experienced footballers like Bradbury and Tom Hale set the standard they have to reach and maintain.
Bradbury is always competitive at the line-out but the big man led all around the field and ran the ball at opponents with all the fire required when it comes to the real thing.
Hale too did his job and was always available at the breakdown and solid in his defence.
Some people thought Keith “Irish” Taylor was a spent force, having retired with a shoulder injury and then later retiring from A-grade football.
However, Taylor has made more returns than Serena Williams in her recent singles final and has decided to have another crack at playing in the representative side.
He does not look out of place.
“Irish has been a bit of a surprise packet,” Lloyd admitted.
“We brought him on for the second half at Blackwater and he lifted the team; he just comes up to a different level.
“He encourages the young and inexperienced players in the side as he is a natural leader.”
One experiment that was not particularly successful was the playing of star flanker Anthony Pearce on the right wing.
“He had his big chance but he dropped the ball,” Lloyd joked.
Pearce was merely playing on the wing to make up numbers while other players trialled in his position, but when his team went on the attack the big man was in a perfect position to receive the ball – and immediately drop it.
Moura’s Ryan Brownlie was another successful triallist and his display has earned him a start against the President’s XV on Saturday.
“He’s a very handy footballer and has played for Queensland Schools,” Lloyd said.
Both Lloyd and Young Brahmans coach Jack Wright are hoping for bumper crowds at Rugby Park for the annual charity day.
Lloyd has picked a strong Brahmans team to face a President’s XV which will be led by Brothers stalwart Blake Perkins.CQ Brahmans Open Team v President’s XV 2010
Tom Hale, Keith Taylor, John Galvin, Jono Bradbury, Scott McPherson, Ryan Brownlie, Royce Beitzel, Anthony Pearce, Fraser Booth, Mitchell Smith, Michael Steere, Charlie Fateo, Sam Jones, Oliver Mayo, Bradley Reeves, Brad Howland, John Ford, Trent Flynn, Stuart Whyte, Brendon Gibson, Rob Wood, Martin Thompson
Coach – Jack Lloyd
Assistant Coach – Frank Busby
Manager – Len Lawlor