THE chance to train with Gold Coast Titans head coach John Cartwright, pictured centre, and coaching and development manager,
THE chance to train with Gold Coast Titans head coach John Cartwright, pictured centre, and coaching and development manager,

Cartwright creates a stir

By TONY WHITE

More than 100 spectators, supporters and officials, including Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) secretary Doug Harrison and treasurer Gary Williams, watched the 80-minute session involving 40 Rebels players at JJ Lawrence Field on Thursday night.

The Titans' involvement came after Rebels supporter JB Walsh contacted Australian Rugby League CEO Geoff Carr asking for his help to get the club through a troubled period.

Rebels president Janita Cooper said the session was 'a huge success'.

"It was just great. It was wonderful to see the South Grafton and Grafton community behind us. There were a lot of children there, that was our focus after contacting all the local schools.

"We had about 40 players, including 18 seniors with about four senior players who hadn't been to training before.

"I can't thank the Titans coaching staff enough for what they've done. There's a different feeling in the place, a real buzz going around. People are excited.

"Having the Titans here doesn't just benefit South Grafton, it benefits the whole Clarence Valley and gives juniors especially a door of opportunity."

Cooper said the players' reaction after the training run was 'great'.

"Most of them I spoke to said it wasn't as hard as they had expected, but they really enjoyed it."

Doug Harrison described the session as 'going exceptionally well'.

"There were so many supporters and officials I got the surprise of my life with the amount of people there," he said.

Harrison said Cartwright and his coaching staff would be available to help out Grafton Ghosts and Lower Clarence, if required, throughout the season.

Next Tuesday Titans football manager Scott Sattler and Judd will take the Rebels through training. The pair will alternate with Cartwright, taking two sessions a week until a new coach can be found following Ray Mercy's departure.

Cartwright said: "They're (South Grafton) obviously in trouble and hopefully we can provide some help. It's a strong rugby league area in our catchment and while we had the time we wanted to just help them out."

Sattler suggested the Titans' involvement would be beneficial to the area.

"They are still in the trial period and we're only too happy to lend support. To have an NRL coach coaching them is probably something you would never see happen anywhere and it should draw profile to the team and hopefully flush out a prospective coach to take the reins."

The Rebels will field a reserve grade team and Under-18s in a trial against Grafton Ghosts at Frank McGuren Field today.

The Under-18s match, which should be an absolute cracker, commences at 5pm and the other match at approximately 6.15pm.

Lower Clarence take on Ballina in all three grades at Maclean Showground today.



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