Tweed muscles up for big encounter in season opener
By ADAM WRATTEN
TWEED Heads prop Eddie Harrison is bracing for a bruising encounter when his side opens its 2005 Queensland Cup campaign against the Central Comets tomorrow.
Harrison and his fellow forwards will have to muscle up in defence if the Tweed team is to come away from Rockhampton's Browne Park with a win.
Almost half of the Comets team is of Pacific Island heritage and its pack has built a formidable reputation for size.
The club also has the advantage of having had three hit-outs against NRL clubs during its pre-season.
Not that Harrison is daunted. Tweed will look for quick play-the- balls and to attack the edges in tomorrow afternoon's heat.
"They are a lot bigger and stronger than most packs, so we will have to muscle up in defence and do our job in the middle," Harrison said.
"Our forwards are very agile and I think we can move them around, which will be good for us."
Tweed Heads coach Steve Murphy has gone with experience for the opener, showing faith in hooker Matt King, who keeps his dummy-half position ahead of Cory Bond, who is on the bench.
"We know it's going to be a tough game," Murphy said. "They are going to have a vocal home crowd and they always start the season well."
Former Australian Schoolboy Brad Davis, who also played three years with Parramatta and a year with Wests Tigers, returns to the Tweed club, and Cook Island international centre Graeme Jeffries makes his debut.
Tweed will be captained by Andrew Moroney, while Nathan Small fills the wing vacancy after Michael Gordon's departure to Penrith.
Meanwhile, defending premiers Burleigh Bears begin their title defence with a tricky clash against Wynnum at Pizzey Park tomorrow.
Josh McCartney will take on the key halfback role with Trent Leis slotting in at fullback.
Tweed Heads: Justin Walker, Jeremy Walters, David Strachan, Graeme Jeffries, Nathan Small, Brad Davis, Paul Rolls, Matt Ross, Matt King, Eddie Harrison, Tom Prichard, Andrew Moroney, Ben Hill. Interchange: Tim Maccan, Cory Bond, Josh Vaughan, James Wood.
Murph calls it
Keep an eye out for Tweed Heads Seagulls coach Steve Murphy's new weekly column in the Daily News. It starts this Friday.