Winger flies Seagulls flag
LADIES, if you are looking for a reason to attend the Tweed Heads Seagulls clash against Redcliffe Dolphins at Piggabeen on Saturday afternoon, look no further than Nathanael Barnes.
If the club's fundraising efforts, free entry, and pink jerseys aren't enough to tempt members of the fairer sex to the ground, the sight of the rugged Seagulls flier working his magic down the sideline should be the sealer.
Not only is Barnes, who has missed a large chunk of the season with an ankle injury, second on the Intrust Super Cup try-scorers' list this year (with 18 in 20 games), he is the type of bloke a girl should want to bring home and meet the family.
But the 28-year-old school chaplain will have only rugby league on his mind when he takes the field in the top-of-the-table clash against the second-placed Dolphins.
“They always field a strong side,” Barnes said. “Every team comes down here wanting to beat us but we want to win as well ... we don't want to lose a game.”
“We were a bit ordinary against the Sunny Coast (a fortnight ago) and didn't play to the standard we like to set for ourselves, but last week against Ipswich, who are a better team, we played much better.
“The forwards really stepped up, especially towards the back end of the second half when Ipswich were putting on a lot of pressure attacking our line, and the forwards just kept turning up to make the tackles. I thought it was exceptional.
“There are only two rounds to go and we want to be executing everything to perfection as we head into the finals.”
Scoring tries is a big part of being a winger so it is no surprise Barnes enjoys touching down over the white line. He is the most prolific try-scorer of all time for the Seagulls, with 91 to his credit.
“It is always good to score a try. The one I got on the weekend was one of the easier ones, Ryan Milligan threw me a terrific cut-out pass and I just had to stroll over the line,” Barnes said.
It is an indication of Barnes' try-scoring prowess that he is only one behind the leading try- scorer of the competition, despite his injury drama.
“It has been a little bit tougher to stay up there with the injury and I was still a little bit tentative with the ankle when I first came back but it has been a positive return and it is good to be building back into some form.”
Action at Piggabeen starts at 12.15pm, with the Colts in action, followed by the main game at 2pm.