Joe Ravueta picked up where he left off last season for the Rhinos with a treble in their NRRRL pre-season victory against Lower Clarence on Saturday.
Joe Ravueta picked up where he left off last season for the Rhinos with a treble in their NRRRL pre-season victory against Lower Clarence on Saturday. Gary Nichols

Bon appetite for Joe Ravueta

JOE Ravueta has a huge appetite – for tries.

Forget a bowl full of baked Taro from his homeland or a whopper burger from Hungry Jacks.

The man dubbed as the Fijian flyer has a hunger for scoring tries, some which defy belief.

In the Rhinos' first hit-out of the season against Lower Clarence on Saturday the Rhinos centre proved almost unstoppable crossing for three four-pointers in his side's 26-6 victory.

Newly-appointed Rhinos coach Shaun Fathers was understandably impressed with his electrifying centre after having an opportunity to witness Ravueta's speed and power first-hand.

“He's certainly impressive,” Fathers said after the game.

“You just have to let him go … play his natural game … he's unbelievable.

“There's not too much you can teach him.”

The game itself never reached any great heights with both teams getting off to a nervous start.

Missed tackles, dropped ball and players feeling the pinch in wet conditions hampered the Round 1 Charity Shield clash.

Lower drew first blood after a Ronald Gordon cut-pass was swooped on by Magpies centre Alistair Flanders who sprinted 80 metres to score under the posts.

But from there the Magpies struggled against a well-drilled defensive Rhinos outfit. At times the Magpies defence was non-existent with players reluctant to put their bodies on the line.

After gaining easy metres up the middle of the park Rhinos playmakers Gordon and Daniel Sandell-Hay spread the ball wide to their go-to man Ravueta who made a mockery of the Magpies' defence.

At times the Magpies forwards were standing around with hands on hips desperately trying to get air into their lungs.

With several regular first graders missing Lower was no match for Fathers' men who finished the game with a wet sail.

“I was happy with the boys but they were a bit excited early on which is normal,” Fathers said.

“Once we settled down it was a lot better and we started to follow the game plan.

“The big thing for us is our defence.

“We can score points but we just have to defend and I think we did that well today.”

Fathers added he was also impressed with halfback Sandell-Hay and the giant Fijian centre known simply as Johnny.

“It's going to take time for Ronald (Gordon) and Daniel to work out each other's game but I thought Daniel was very good today,” he said.

“He's a steadying influence and doesn't get flustered too easily.”



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