Bring on the rep footy
THE Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) representative team will play a strong Central Hunter Power side tonight at Port Macquarie as a curtain-raiser to the annual City v Country clash.
Five outstanding local players will represent the region in what promises to be a blockbuster night of rugby league.
The Grafton Ghosts have four representatives - Aaron Hartmann, Don Dickson, Carson Galloway and Grant Stevens - with Grafton Rhino Todd Cameron winning a spot after stellar performances last season and in the pre-season trial matches.
Hartmann who is no stranger to representative football has been selected to play in the centres with teammate Carson Galloway to accompany him on the left wing.
“The coach has gone with combinations and since Carson and I both play left side we should have no problems understanding each others play,” Hartmann said.
Hartmann said Ghosts teammate Dickson was under an injury cloud but is expected to play.
“Donny hurt his knee in the first 10 minutes on Sunday against Evans Head and will need to make a decision if he’s right to play,” Hartmann said.
Ghosts second-rower Grant Stevens was called into the squad two weeks ago and is sure to add plenty of starch to the forward pack.
Rhinos utility player Todd Cameron has been in scintillating form this season and will give coach Max Beecher plenty of options off the bench.
Hartmann is under no illusions the Central Coast Power will be a hard team to beat but said a simple game plan might do the trick.
“I don’t know a great deal about Central Coast but I’ve heard they have a massive forward pack,” he said.
“Our coach wants us to keep it simple and play an up-tempo game to run their forwards off their feet. We’ll need to get quick play-the-balls and get a roll-on then utilise our pace out wide.”
Hartmann represented the Northern Thunderbolts last year when they defeated Power in the round games but he expects a different and more committed showing from the Hunter boys this time around
“We beat them last year but they lost a game before we played them and were out of the competition. They celebrated the night before and their minds weren’t on the game...they had nothing to play for,” he said.
Central Hunter will be led by three-times Country Player of the Year prop Grant Wooden.
NRRRL coach Max Beecher confirmed on Tuesday that Dickson is a likely starter.