No more excuses
By SARAH HARRISON
TWEED Heads Seagulls' quest to beat the North Queensland Young Guns at Charters Towers tomorrow night in the Queensland Cup just got even harder.
Experienced fullback Nathan Cross has been ruled out after a devastating knock to the head against Redcliffe last Sunday fractured his skull.
Hard-running front-rower Tom Prichard is also a late exclusion to the line-up after he failed to recover from a serious viral infection in time.
Tweed Heads already had a tough assignment ahead against its fourth-placed opponents, leaving Saturday morning to fly to Townsville before bussing it for 90 minutes south-west to Charters Towers.
Coach Steve Murphy admits the poor preparation won't be favourable for the team, but refuses to allow any more excuses from his side.
"We are a young side who has experienced several learning curves this year," said Murphy.
"However we can't keep putting losses down to learning excercises. I expect more from these boys because they are a quality outfit.
"They have to have confidence in themselves and start expecting more than close encounters. They have to play a full 80 minutes and know they can win."
James Woods returns to fullback to replace Cross, while Nat Barnes is promoted to fill the gap after consistent showings for Seagulls in the Northern Rivers Regional league.
Jeff Moate will start in the front row with Eddie Harrison, while several players from lower grades will have an opportunity to play in the top grade to replace Prichard and Ben Quinlan, who suffered a hamstring injury at training on Thursday night.
Tweed Heads currently sits seventh on the competition ladder and desperately needs a win to bridge the increasing gap between itself and the competition leaders.