Origin star is Tweed threat
A CRIPPLING injury toll threatens to unsettle a Tweed Heads outfit desperate for every advantage as they prepare to take on a Brisbane Norths outfit bolstered by the inclusion of former Queensland State of Origin star Billy Slater.
After being considered an outside chance for the Maroons' Origin III side announced this week, Slater has instead been named in Melbourne's Queensland Cup feeder club Norths for Sunday's clash against the Seagulls at Bishop Park.
Slater's inclusion comes at the worst possible time for the fourth-placed Seagulls but coach Steve Murphy, desperate to turn his side's fortunes around after a last-round loss to North Queensland, said his focus would not change.
"We can't be worried about players like Slater and what he is doing, we just have to try and control the centre of the field and stop them from getting a roll on," Murphy said last night.
"We have had some very good training efforts this week and we tend to lift against sides who have big names in them."
Tweed Heads will be without in-form forwards Eddie Harrison and Matt Pow while Luke Kelly, just back after a stint overseas, has also been ruled out after a training mishap.
Their absence has opened the door for some of the club's rising stars including boom five-eighth Paul Rolls who has been in scintillating form in the FOGS Cup competition.
"We will bring up half Paul Rolls, prop Josh Peacock who played for us against the Young Guns, and Dan Molenaar in the forwards," Murphy said.
For Slater the match will be just his second in 10 weeks because of two suspensions.