Rampaging forward Tony Pamintangi returns to boost Raiders ranks for the opening round of the new season.
Rampaging forward Tony Pamintangi returns to boost Raiders ranks for the opening round of the new season. Blainey Woodham

Jets give Cudgen a thrashing

THE contrast in moods in the respective dressing rooms said it all.

The Bilambil Jets camp was cock o'hoop over the club's 42-6 thrashing of Cudgen Leagues in a Gold Coast Tweed Rugby League Bycroft Cup trial match at Bilambil on Saturday whereas the mood in the Hornets camp was funereal.

Jets coach, Jim Lenihan, was delighted by the performance of the defending premiers who will go into next weekend's opening round of the new season fully primed to successfully defend their title.

On the other hand, Hornets coach, Craig Field, was despondent, knowing his troops will need to produce a higher standard of football and commitment to be a force in their Bycroft Cup debut season.

"The game shows that we have a fair bit of work to do to be a competitive force," Field said.

"We looked OK at various stages but football is an 80 minute game and we really need to lift markedly if we are to give the other sides a run for their money."

Better news for Field is that his first grade will be boosted by the return of eight senior players who missed the final trial. These include slick pivot, Eden Price, outside back Brad Lees and rugged forwards, Dan Donovan and Tony Pamintangi.

The trial gave Lenihan the opportunity to try a handful of players in different positions and was pleased with what he saw.

In the other trial at Les Burger Field, Tweed Coast Raiders started disastrously in their outing against Runaway Bay, conceding 28 points to nil in a slip-shod opening 25 minutes.

However, Arwin Marcus' boys lifted from that point and matched the visitors in all departments before being on the wrong end of a 50-24 scoreline.

"Our handling was abysmal, especially in the first half when we coughed up plenty of possession to give them (Runaway Bay) ample opportunities to post tries," coach Marcus said.

"We completed just 10 of 28 sets and no side is going to win a football game with those figures."

Although disappointed with the overall performance, Marcus was very pleased with the efforts of his two props, Brendon Robinson and new recruit, the towering Troy Nairne.

"Troy in particular was outstanding and he's going to prove to be an invaluable asset to us this season.

"His work ethic will be an inspiration to his team-mates."

Back to boost the Raiders side for this week's opening Bycroft Cup round will be centres Jackson Broadbent and Jayden Johnson and classy fullback, Troy Canning.

In this week's first round GCTRL Bycroft Cup matches, all of which are played on Sunday, Cudgen are away to Southport, Currumbin host Bilambil, Tweed Coast face Ormeau at Brian Harris Oval and Burleigh and Runaway Bay clash at Pizzey Park. Tugun has the bye.



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