In­dige­nous league stars fire up for clash

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Hay­den Smith

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.”

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