Straight up the middle
STEVE Kirkham will lead from the front today for the Cudgen Hornets in the NRRRL minor semi-final in a game he expects will be won up the middle.
The Hornets built their success this year on the work of captain Kirkham and his front row partner Dan Donovan, with general Craig Field directing play.
Today’s opponents Northern United have speed and they have flair but in rugby league, flair is only one part of the package.
Kirkham said the Dirawongs are a tough side, but the Hornets will prove tougher.
“They play a physical game and have got a bit of flair in the backs, with a lot of pace out wide,” Kirkham said.
“We will be looking to take them on up the middle and get on top of them so their backs don’t get a chance.”
The first grade side felt it was robbed of a victory – and home semi-final – when the teams last met two weeks ago and the players are still fuming.
“After what happened two weeks ago when we played them, we certainly can’t wait to get back out there this Saturday,” Kirkham said.
The first grade side could have run second with a win, but are now placed fourth and are facing a sudden-death clash in Lismore.
The difference between running second and fourth was one competition point.
While star fullback Shannon Murphy has had a season hampered by injury, his captain said today is the time for the game-breaker to step up and show the blistering form he is capable of.
Coach Con Theodossiou moved to hose down the tension, saying his side was going in with a fresh approach and with respect for the referee and the opponent.