Trial success has Baa Baas bristling with confidence
THE Coolangatta Tweed Heads Barbarians will be hoping to build on some impressive pre-season form when the Far North Coast Rugby Union (FNC) competition kicks off later this month.
After a disappointing season in the FNC last year, the 2007 Baa Baas look a completely different outfit under new coach Mark Ianelli.
The Baa Baas continued their impressive pre-season with a convincing 47-19 win over Gatton in a trial match at Goodwin Park on Saturday.
That win followed a trials victory over the Gold Coast-based Colleges club.
"We have been training four days a week at this stage with the focus on our fitness and that showed on Saturday," Ianelli said yesterday.
"The Gatton side are a good outfit having beaten Goodna who in turn beat a Far North Coast representative side.
"We are getting a good turn up to training and there's a good spirit in the club among the players and our administration."
"I am looking forward to our first game against Grafton who are a very good side but I think we can realistically aim for the finals this year."
The Baa Baas have retained the same forward pack that improved throughout the 2006 season but Ianellia has strengthened the backline with recruits from Gold Coast clubs, past players and former league players.
The additions have provided Tweed some attacking potency which was sadly lacking last year.
"Having two senior sides is a real bonus because we have some depth to chose from and with the influx of backs, we now have the ability to finish off opportunities which our forwards have been able to create," Ianelli said.
The Baa Baas have also stolen the spotlight with an innovative way of raising funds for the club by putting both Firsts and Seconds sides up for auction on eBay.
Ianelli said there had been more than 600 hits on the website since it was first posted and he had fielded several serious inquiries on what a potential owner might get from their commitment to the club.
"We had a few potential sponsors at our trial on Saturday and surprisingly, we have had quite a few hits on the web from women," Ianelli said.
The auction bid will be on the internet site for another eight days.
The FNC competition will commence on Saturday, April 14.