Sport

Keeping the faith

Lower Clarence's Curtis Laurie tries to break through the Evans head defence during the trial match at Maclean Showground on Saturday.
Lower Clarence's Curtis Laurie tries to break through the Evans head defence during the trial match at Maclean Showground on Saturday.

LOWER Clarence Magpies produced a strong showing in their first hit-out of the season, providing new coach Grant Brown with plenty of positives.

The Magpies were upstaged 24-12 by Evans Head in the pre-season trial at the Maclean Showground but Brown was upbeat about his side's prospects for 2012.

"It's hard to gauge how teams are going early in the season but I thought we didn't go too bad," Brown told the Examiner.

"It was a good chance to trial some new players and clear the cobwebs out. We played four quarters and for the first stint we put our reserve-grade side on the paddock."

The Magpies will be hoping to drag themselves off the bottom of the NRRRL ladder this season and for Brown it will be one of the biggest challenges in his rugby league career.

The departure of Dan Randall, Xavier Sullivan, Todd Cameron and Joel Moss has left the club short on experienced players in key positions.

Randall's stinging defence and hard-running style will be sorely missed as will Cameron's passing and kicking game from five-eighth.

After racing to an 18-0 lead, the Bombers were reeled in by the Magpies who Brown said were let down by too many unforced errors.

"We certainly need to work on our discipline as well as our defence," he said.

"There was too many dropped balls and missed tackles. Evans had a couple of new guys and it was a good hit-out for both teams."

Lower were short on numbers with several players involved in local cricket finals however young centre sensation Andrew Kapeen showed glimpses of brilliance out wide.

Kapeen was left floundering in reserve grade last season but this year Brown is expecting big things from the elusive outside back.

"Andrew's got plenty of talent and I can tell you he won't be playing reserve grade this season," Brown said.

"Boxhead (Ryan Binge) went forward all day and I thought our half Norman Williams' kicking game was solid.

"Norman needs a bit more direction but looks the goods ... it's all a learning curve for him.

Lower Clarence's next trial game will be an away game against Ballina and Brown is hoping Magpies fans will make the trip up the highway to support their team.

The Magpies will be hoping to drag themselves off the bottom of the NRRRL ladder this season and for Brown it will be one of the biggest challenges in his rugby league career.

Topics:  lower clarence magpies, nrrrl, rugby league



GALLERY: Tweed top cop Stuart Wilkins retires

MURDER-SUICIDE: Stuart Wilkins revealed the discovery of two bodies at the Pottsville dunes in 2014 as the Commander of Tweed-Byron police. INSET: Showing confiscated weapons during a Tweed bikie crackdown.

etective Superintendent Stuart Wilkins was farewelled from the NSW P

Latest deals and offers

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

Katy Perry: 'I stay normal with therapy'

Katy Perry says she relies on therapy to help her 'stay normal'

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m