League boys back to defend King of the River crown
RODEO: Most players who come up against Ben McLennan call him a 'raging bull'.
Most bulls who come up against him don't get the chance to say anything.
While the Grafton Ghosts forward admits he is probably "too big and too useless" to ride bulls competitively anymore, the former local rodeo winner lives for Christmas time.
That is when the annual Lawrence Twilight Rodeo touches down at the Maclean Showground providing opportunity for McLennan to switch out the cleats for the spurs and the stubbies for the chaps as he mounts for the eight second 'ride of his life'.
McLennan will once again lead his Ghosts charges into the rodeo ring as they challenge Clarence clubs, South Grafton Rebels and Lower Clarence Magpies, in the annual King of the River Super League Steer Ride Challenge.
But this year McLennan will have one hell of an ace up his sleeve with new captain/coach Danny Wicks set to ride for the blue and whites as well.
"I don't know what his bull riding credentials are like but he does have country blood in him with his grandparents from out Coaldale way so hopefully that helps," McLennan said.
Dummy-half Todd Cameron will also compete for the Ghosts who will meet stiff opposition in the form of South Grafton and Lower Clarence.
The Magpies will be represented by Ryan Binge - who wore the blue and white in the event last year - and new captain-coach Dan Randall with a third member still to be decided.
It is expected that South Grafton captain Grant 'Stumpy' Stevens will don the spurs alongside zippy fullback Kieren Stewart.
A spot still remains open in the Rebels ranks with many hoping will be filled by Xavier Sullivan - who provided the moment of the rodeo last year when his mount 'parked' in the centre of the ring.
"Last year we got rained out and it held a lot of people back from coming out," McLennan said. "But the challenge was still very successful, we had a lot of people commenting on how much fun it was.
"That is what we are hoping for again this time around."
"No matter what, I reckon we have got these other boys covered easily."
The Lawrence Twilight Rodeo is a community minded event raising much needed funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and local sporting organisations.
Gates open from 10am. Action starts at midday with slacks. Main event from 6pm.
Tickets: adult $25, aged pensioner $15; child under 16 $15; family $55; Children under 5 free.