Treading new ground
By BOB ANTHONY
HISTORY will be made at Tu- gun tomorrow when two prem- iers clash in the opening round of the Gold Coast Rugby League competition. The Gold Coast-Cudgen Hor- nets will be hosts to the Bur- leigh Bears at the Tugun Sea- hawks ground in a match which will herald the debut of the for- mer Tweed-based side in the Smartlend Cup. With plenty of off-season tur- moil surrounding the Hornets, tomorrow's game will be a
benchmark for the side which claimed the Northern Rivers Re- gional Rugby League premier- ship last year when they meet the reigning Gold Coast prem- iers. The Hornets, complete with new logo, have already had a trial against Tugun and have shown that they will be a force in under 19, reserve and A grades in the Gold Coast. Hornets' coach Jamie Mathiou said the players were looking forward to putting the off-field drama behind them and concen- trating on playing footy. "It's always be the focus of
our players to be part of this competition and that moment has finally arrived," Mathiou said. "They have banded together through what has been a diffi- cult time and remained focused on the job at hand. "Now we have a huge chal- lenge, not just in playing the premiers in Burleigh but also establishing oursleves on the Gold Coast. "We are without five players who helped Cudgen win the NRRRL premieship last year due to retirement, injury or unavail- ability but we have gained a
few new players and are ready to go." The game will be the first outting for the Hornets' new un- der 19 side. The Gold Coast-based Hor- nets' under 17 side had their first competiton hit-out last night against Southport. For the Burleigh coach, Paul Khan, tomorrow's game is like "stepping into the great un- known". "We know that the Hornets are a good side and that they won the premiership last year but apart form that, we don't know much about their players
at all," Khan said. "We are going through a bit of a rebuilding phase ourselves and due to our involvement with the Titans and the Queens- land Cup, it makes selection hard until we know who is wanted for the Cup and FOGS sides." Khan said he unsure of his final line-up due to the demands of the club's Quuensland Cup and FOGS sides. GOLD COAST-CUDGEN HORNETS: 1. Damien Perry, 2. Joe Prichard, 3. Scott Julius, 4. Brain McCarthy (c), 5. Adam Evans, 6. Lee Hicks, 7. Steve O'Keefe, 8. Wade Hall, 9. Luke Berger, 10. Corey Williams, 11.Todd Skinner, 12. Luke Erich, 13. Nikc Mobbs, 14. Tim Mason, 15. Nathan Townsend.