Indigenous league stars fire up for clash
THE season is yet to begin but Mossman’s Daryl Lightning already feels ready to play a grand final.
The 29-year-old is one of seven Mossman/Port Douglas Sharks players who will represent the Indigenous All Stars in their rugby league clash with the Northern Pride in Cairns tomorrow night.
He will be joined by Sharks teammates Paddy Whap, Joel Marama, Eddie Daniel, James Doolah, Rob Amber and Dave Oui in the pre-season trial match, tipped to draw a large crowd at Stan Williams Park at 7.30pm.
A rugby league player for 20 years, Lightning says this will be no ordinary encounter.
“About 80 per cent of the Sharks players are indigenous, so it means a lot for us to take part,” he said.
“It also shows the young kids what they can achieve by working hard at their footy.”
Lightning grew up idolising indigenous players Steve Renouf and his older brother Royston, who represented the Canberra Raiders in the 1990s.
The utility forward, who moved to Mossman seven years ago, will treat tomorrow night’s clash as a grand final.
“As an indigenous person who grew up in North Queens- land, having the chance to represent my people is a dream come true,” Lightning said.
“This is a fantastic concept which will be great for footy in the Port Douglas and Mossman communities.”
A win against the Northern Pride could lead to representative selection for the Indigenous All Stars players, who are being coached by North Queensland Cowboys legend Ty Williams.
Mossman/Port Douglas Sharks president Jason Fasano said Friday’s match meant a lot to the club.
“Footy is such a massive part of the community, it gives people something to do on a weekend,” he said.
“I have no doubt the Sharks players who are representing the All Stars will go to another gear on Friday. They are so proud to be representing the indigenous community.”