Buccaneers poised to plunder a win
By TONY WHITE
A likely wet playing surface at Yamba Oval today won't hinder the consummate rugby skills of Yamba Buccaneers fullback Adrian Miller.
The Buccaneers open the 2006 Far North Coast Rugby Union season against last year's final four contestants Lismore.
Miller made his debut for the Buccaneers last season after playing for several years with The Rainey Old Boys Club in Magherafelt in Northern Ireland where soggy surfaces were common.
The 25-year-old made an immediate impression earning recognition from FNC representative selectors despite the Buccaneers lack of wins.
Under new coach Andrew Bennett and with several new players enrolled, Miller said the Buccaneers are certain to vastly improve on last season's efforts.
"There is a fantastic feeling in the club," he said.
"The numbers at training have been greater than last year and all the boys are excited to be playing.
"We've got some new faces who have been welcomed with the likes of Anthony Begg sure to add class and impetus to our team."
Begg has returned to the area after spending the past couple of years at university in Bathurst. The deft five-eighth is a former NSW Country representative.
Last season's club best and fairest, flanker Paul Hope, should again be a team mainstay and Miller said several new young players would step into the breach this year.
Lismore are a perennial strong rugby club but the Buccaneers are poised to plunder an early win.
Yamba Oval was deluged by heavy rain yesterday and a ground inspection will take place tomorrow morning to de- termine the fate of the game.
Reds not rating
SYDNEY. ? Queensland is banking on the Sharks not rat- ing them at all in Durban today, when the struggling Reds try to turn a week of words into Super 14 rugby action.
The Reds have won their last seven games against the Sharks, shading them by one point on each of their last two visits to Durban.
However, Queensland is languishing in 12th spot with a sole triumph over the winless Western Force providing the only opportunity for victory celebrations in its first six fixtures of this season.
The Sharks are ninth on the ladder but impressed plenty of people during their Australasian campaign and play their last six games in South Africa.
As if the Reds task wasn't tough enough, the Sharks have recalled Springbok star Percy Montgomery at fullback and exciting young halfback Ruan Pienaar.
"They've got an extremely strong physical forward pack which sets up a really good foundation for their backs to do their stuff, and we rate them very highly," said Queens- land centre Ben Tune.