Former Ghosts fullback now a bear
FOR former Grafton Ghosts fullback Anthony Don, life’s pretty good.
After setting the NRRRL on fire last season the prodigious try scorer has found a home at the Burleigh Bears in 2011 which plays in the strong Queensland Intrust Super Cup competition.
The 2010 NRRRL player of the year has set himself up on the Gold Coast where, apart from training three days a week, Don finds time to test out the waves at the local beaches in between teaching physical education at high school.
“It’s pretty good up here.
"I live in Tugun and get to surf and do a bit of casual teaching when there’s work on offer,” Don says.
Asked about the standard compared to the NRRRL, Don had no hesitation in claiming the Queensland-based competition is a much higher standard than he experienced in the Northern Rivers.
“Pre-season training was very hard. We got flogged but it’s a bit easier now,” he says.
“The standard’s very good as you have plenty of NRL players in the competition.
“Most teams have a couple of NRL players and I’ve come up against a few from the Titans.
“I’ve played against Joseph Tomane, Esikeli Tonga and Clinton Toopi.”
Normally a fullback, Don has spent the early part of the season on the wing but according to the 24-year-old just being named in the run-on side is an achievement in itself.
“I’ve been playing on the wing but probably prefer fullback because you are more involved,” Don admits.
“But any spot in the team is good enough for me.”
Don recently played for NSW against Queensland in a bid to make the Australian University side and along with fellow Burleigh team-mates Jamie Dowling and Hayden Allsop was named in the side to play Great Britain.
But unfortunately for the talented trio the club would not give them a release to play.
“The team is due to play Great Britain in Bali in June and again in Brisbane in July.
"The club said we can’t play as we have a commitment to the Bears,” he says.
“It’s also a risk.
"If you miss a game there is always someone to take your place.”
And as far as his beloved Ghosts go Don admits he keeps up to date with how his former team is faring in the NRRRL.
“I check out how the Ghosts are going most weekends,” he says. “They should give the title a good shake again this season although losing Stumpy (Grant Stevens) is a huge blow.”