Re­turn of Lock may spice up pre­sea­son

Sparse crowds, missed kicks and old lol­lies not the only fo­cal points

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - SA­MUEL DAVIS

A SUB­UR­BAN game of pre­sea­son AFL is usu­ally a pretty tran­quil af­fair.

The crowds are sparse and re­served at best.

Usu­ally, a few play­ers find out they should have re­tired the year be­fore. Some­one will in­vari­ably at­tempt a kick only to miss the ball com­pletely and the lolly bags at the club can­teen are some­times left­overs from last year.

Not much can be drawn from what hap­pens at th­ese games.

But this week­end could tell us a lot about the Cairns Saints and South Cairns Cut­ters, with key de­fender Daniel Lock po­ten­tially tak­ing the field for the first time since serv­ing a nine-game sus­pen­sion.

The ban dates back to a June game against the Saints where it is al­leged Lock punched Saints mid­fielder Ri­ley McCall.

Dur­ing the game, McCall’s jaw was bro­ken in three places.

As a re­sult, he was forced to put on hold a new job as an ap­pren­tice plum­ber in the days fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent to in­stead un­dergo ma­jor surgery and den­tal work.

Lock cur­rently faces crim­i­nal charges over the al­leged in­ci­dent.

This week the Cut­ters will again play the Saints at Fretwell Park in a prac­tice match at the very place where the al­leged en­counter oc­curred.

The Saints are ex­pected to name McCall in their side.

Mean­while Lock, who had planned to move to Bris­bane last year, has in­stead opted to stay in the Far North serv­ing as a play­ing as­sis­tant coach.

No-one can tell Lock not to play this week­end.

He has served a pun­ish­ment is­sued by the league and his le­gal fate will be de­ter­mined in due course.

He is also a dec­o­rated player, who has rep­re­sented North Queens­land and coached rep­re­sen­ta­tive teams through­out his ca­reer. He is well liked by many in the foot­ball com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly his team­mates, whom he has led to sev­eral grand fi­nal ap­pear­ances where he has played with dis­tinc­tion.

Sport, af­ter all, is all about con­fronta­tion and AFL is a phys­i­cally con­fronting game.

This week­end at Fretwell Park, there should be plenty of bruis­ing tack­les, hard bumps, cheeky ban­ter and ag­gres­sive, at­tack­ing play. A fresh air kick may even draw a chuckle or two from the pa­trons lean­ing over the fence.

But some con­fronta­tions should be avoided this week.

Be­cause even though Lock can play, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that he should just yet.

Here’s to an­other bor­ing pre­sea­son game.


PO­TEN­TIAL RE­TURN: Cut­ters' Daniel Lock is due to play since serv­ing a sus­pen­sion.

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