Barnes plays crucial role
NAT Barnes, the flying winger with the knack of planting the pill over the tryline, will play a crucial role for Tweed Heads Seagulls when they host Mackay Cutters in their Intrust Super Cup clash at Piggabeen Sports Complex tomorrow.
Barnstorming Barnes has been in tremendous form for the Seagulls in the opening two rounds of the new season and runs out at Piggabeen attempting to win a third Players' Player Award on the trot.
Coach Ben Anderson is an unabashed fan of his wingman, who has made more records than the Beatles (slight exaggeration).
His hat-trick of tries in last week's impressive 32-10 win over Norths Devils took his tally at the club to a record-breaking 73 touchdowns – Barnes also holds club records for most tries in a season, 22 in 2006, and most tries in a match for his five plantings in a game back in 2005.
But it is not only the uncanny ability to cross the tryline which endears Barnes to his coach.
“Nat is an inspiration to all us with his high work rate in attack and defence,” Anderson said.
Anderson may be forced to switch his other winger, Dominique Peyroux, into the centres if the robust Kingi Akauola fails to overcome an injured ankle.
“Kingi's ankle is still pretty crook so if he comes out, Dom will fill in for him and I'll bring young Tom Merrett onto the wing. Dom won't let the side down and neither will Tom who is just a great kid with plenty of ability and enthusiasm.” Anderson said.
Anderson added that skipper Brad Davis is also carrying an injury (knee) but he was “more than hopeful” of him taking his place in the side.
The coach has been delighted with the Seagulls' great start to the season but has hammered into his charges that, with apologies to our old Latin friend, Erasmus, one or two swallows don't make a winter.