Magpies call up some experience

IN A bid to strengthen his outside backs Magpies coach Ricky Binge has rushed evergreen centre Mark Laurie into the first grade line-up.

Laurie will partner Mikey Randall in the centres when the Magpies tackle Byron Bay at Yamba tomorrow.

“Mark played reserve grade last week and is pretty keen to play in the top grade,” Binge told the Daily Examiner yesterday.

“I think he’s about 38 years young and although he’s lost some pace he still knows how to find a hole and his defence is still good.”

Still reeling after last week’s debacle against the Grafton Ghosts, the Magpies will be hoping their juniors can provide the necessary spark if they are to come away with the two points.

“The under-18s have been playing well this season under Dale Eamans and as they don’t play this weekend Dale has made some of them available for first grade,” Binge said.

“There are some good kids playing in the juniors and they are going alright in the competition this year.”

Binge said his side has tried to remain positive after last week’s game against the Ghosts but it has been a long week for his inexperienced side.

“It’s hard to be positive after last weekend,” Binge said.

“But I was more concerned with our game plan which went out the window.”

“We competed for about 15 minutes, but our kicking game let us down.

“Hopefully against Byron we can address that.”

Byron is currently on eight points with four wins and three losses and a win against Lower could see them slip into the top five.

NSW Country representative and Byron centre Clarence Kelly has been in scintillating form this season and if given room to move will be hard to contain.

“I’m not sure if Clarence Kelly is playing, but he is definitely a player we need to keep a close eye on,” Binge said.

Due to the recent campdraft at Maclean Showground the clash between the Magpies and Byron has been moved to Yamba Oval.

Lower Clarence Magpies

1. Carl Laurie

2. Jason James

3. Mikey Randall

4. Mark Laurie

5. Zane Purcell

6. Andrew ford

7. James King

8. Joel Laurie

9. Tom Martin

10. Ryan Binge

11. Trent Cullen

12. Tim Peters

13. Josh Gorman

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