Seagulls flying home
EVEN the greediest rugby league fan’s hunger for a taste of The Greatest Game of All should be sated when big-time rugby league returns to Piggabeen on Sunday, when four games are set down at the sports complex.
Headlining the four-act show will be the Intrust Super Cup (Queensland Cup) clash between a rejuvenated Tweed Heads Seagulls and Mackay Cutters. Both outfits go into the clash unbeaten after two rounds so the stage is set for what will be a ripper game. The main event kicks off at 3pm and will be preceded by what promises to be three other entertaining clashes.
In the earlier games, Tweed’s Gold Coast Rugby League outfits face Southport Tigers in under-19s (10.15am) and A-grade (11.45am).
Meanwhile, entree to the main course will be served at 1.30pm when Seagulls and Norths Devils lock horns in a FOGS Cup Colts encounter. Seagulls president Terry Keen expects a big roll-up of fans to witness the return of topflight football to the club’s former home ground. Seagulls last played at Piggabeen in 2007 when the club won both the Queensland Cup seniors and colts premierships after which they switched their home venue to Cudgen.
“Cudgen Leagues has provided us with fantastic support over the past three seasons, but with our A-grade now playing in the Gold Coast competition, all our stakeholders believed it was time to give the club a presence back in this neck of the woods,” Keen explained.
“Our juniors have continued playing at Piggabeen so this move brings everyone, from under-7s through to the Intrust Cup players, back under the one umbrella.”
All associated with Tweed Heads are hoping the return to Piggabeen is a lucky omen as the Seagulls continue their 2011 Intrust Cup campaign.
Lady Luck has had little to do with the Seagulls’ resurgence this year under astute coach Ben Anderson, who bolstered the playing strength with some, well, astute recruitments.
Obviously working on the old adage that forwards win matches, Anderson snapped up six key “pigs” during the silly season – big props Aaron Cannings (Titans) and out of under-20s ranks, Josh Starling (South Sydney), Tom Hancock (St George) and Chris Bloomfield (Titans).
Also linking with the Seagulls were PNG Test backrower Rod Griffin (Northern Pride) and utility player Matt King (South Logan), who is equally at home at hooker and five-eighth.
King is an old Seagulls favourite and his return to the fold enabled him to become the fifth Seagulls centurion when he ran on for his 100th game for the club in last week’s comfortable 32-10 win over Norths Devils.
Anderson said the club was desperately in need of finding a couple of big men to support stalwarts Brock Hunter and Jake Leary, who have courageously put their hands up and done the lion’s share of the heavy work required in the rucks in recent seasons.
Anderson said he expected a tough tussle with the classy Cutters who will be ably led by vastly experienced halfback Grant Rovelli, giant prop Isaak Ah Mau and livewire hooker Neil Budworth.