Cudgen Hornet swaps greens for whites in dashing debut
WHEN Cudgen Rugby League Club player/coach Pat Rosser hinted at swapping the oval ball for a hunk of willow, it was an opportunity Cudgen Cricket Club didn't want to pass up.
After confirming he'd don the whites during a recent trip to Fiji, the former Australian and NSW representative at country level, clubbed 69 runs to help Cudgen's LJ Hooker League side to 9/288 in their two-day season opener against Tintenbar-East Ballina at Kingsford Smith Park last weekend.
The knock was made even more remarkable by the fact that a batless Rosser, who hadn't been at the crease for three years, had to get creative with former Cudgen star and current Australian under-19 player Max Bryant's equipment.
"Pat is good friends with Max's dad Aaron (Cudgen RLFC president) and went up to the Bryant's home and stole one of Max's bats to play with,” Cudgen captain Jamie Wilson laughed.
"Max is away with Australia, and that's probably why he got 69 with Max's bat; he's been hitting them pretty well.”
Wilson said Rosser and a returning Heath Wilson would strengthen the side's batting, while James Julius and Tim Spencer are expected to form a strong partnership with the ball.
Stepping-up to first-grade, Wilson scored 59 against Tintenbar and has already formed a formidable pairing with star player Caleb Ziebell (96) at the top of the order.
Wilson said the new-look side were on a mission as they attempt to redeem last season's heartbreaking grand-final loss against Alstonville.
He said Cudgen's major strength was its pride, which was hurt following the heavy loss.
"To get rolled for 60 in a grand final stung us, so a fair bit of pride is driving our blokes,” Wilson said.
While Cudgen are looking forward to facing Alstonville again next weekend, Wilson said his side wouldn't look past Tintenbar in today's second innings.
"We were happy with 288 as the outfield was pretty slow,” he said.
"The pitch is good, and Tintenbar has a strong line-up, but we should be able to defend 288.”
In other games: Pottsville will be chasing a target of 199 when they resume with the bat against Lennox Head; Murwillumbah has a massive task ahead of them when they resume at 3/23 against Ballina, who set the Panthers a target of 313, and Marist Brothers resume on 1/44 in their 203 run chase against Casino.