TUGUN halfback Clint Barends is expected to give the club greater on-field direction in its first home game in the Mixwell Cup.
TUGUN halfback Clint Barends is expected to give the club greater on-field direction in its first home game in the Mixwell Cup.

Barends back on attack at Tugun

Rugby League

By ADAM WRATTEN

sports@tweednews.com.au

EXPERIENCED halfback Clint Barends returns to Tugun's starting line-up tomorrow for the club's first home game in the Mixwell Cup.

Barends was a late withdrawal from Tugun's seasonopening victory last week against Wests Panthers, 24-12, with a thigh strain he picked up at training.

Though last year's Group 18 premiers ran out comfortable winners in that game, coach Craig Briscoe is delighted to have one of his key attacking orchestrators back.

Briscoe is keen for Tugun to keep its proud home record intact.

The club has not lost an Agrade game at Boyd Street Oval since its grand final loss in 2003.

"He (Clint) will give us a lot more direction," Briscoe said.

"The thigh is still giving him some problems, but he's a lot better than he was last week."

Barends' inclusion means David Skuse slots back to hooker, with Luke Swain returning to the bench.

Apart from that one change, Briscoe is able to name an unchanged side to take on Norths, who were thumped 34-12 at home to Redcliffe in its first game.

"I really don't know what we can expect," Briscoe said.

"They got touched up by Redcliffe, who are always strong.

"But Norths are the feeder club for the Melbourne Storm, so I'm expecting a tough en- counter."

Team: Shane Joyce, Damian Joyce, Dean Murphy, Stefan Anderson, Luke Archer, Shaun Ireland, Clint Barends, Luke Faul, David Skuse, Aaron Zimmerle, Brett Wooley, Shane Roden, Ryan Percy. Interchange: Luke Swain, Nick Foley, Tony McAllister, Brendan Butler.



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