Heavy work­load awaits in bat­tle with Bur­dekin

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

TEACH­ERS West ex­pect to have some cav­alry re­turn when they travel to Ayr to play Bur­dekin in a Fri­day night feast of Townsville and Dis­tricts Rugby Union.

The Bull­dogs are set to wel­come back Kris Nielsen, Josh Fletcher, Hugh Hup­patz and An­gus Small for the Round 15 show­down, which pits two of the league’s in­form teams against each other a week after pro­duc­ing im­pres­sive wins de­spite strug­gling with team depth.

Teach­ers out­mus­cled Ross River with­out their Queens­land Coun­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and Bur­dekin ran over the top of North Ward de­spite miss­ing a hand­ful of key per­son­nel through in­jury.

Teach­ers coach Terry Shiells says his re­turn­ing rep play­ers will not think twice about play­ing a full game.

“They’re an im­por­tant part of our club, but they’ve had heavy work­loads and we have to man­age them over the next few weeks,” Shiells said.

“But they’re all keen and ready to play 80 min­utes.

“We’ll make de­ci­sions as the game pro­gresses, but they cer­tainly won’t be ask­ing to have re­duced work­loads.”

Tonight’s 7pm start will hand the Bull­dogs lit­tle breath­ing space be­tween travel and kick- off, but Shiells said his side would make the most of the chal­lenge.

“It’s not an easy week­end for us, and our third- grade side trav­els to Ing­ham on the same night, so we’ll have about 60 play­ers travel to op­po­site ends of the com­pe­ti­tion spec­trum,” he said.

“Or­gan­is­ing team travel like that is not easy, but at the same time ev­ery­one else has to do it. The boys are all keen and they’re happy to do it, for the game it­self and also the so­cial as­pect of it.”

The 2016 A grade grand fi­nal­ists have clashed twice this year, with Teach­ers win­ning the first 60- nil, be­fore scor­ing a far tougher 29- 5 vic­tory.

Shiells says the third meet­ing will likely be the tough­est to date.

‘ It’s al­ways a tough game against the Bur­dekin, es­pe­cially in the Bur­dekin,” he said.

“We know they’ll be ready to go, and if you don’t go into games against Bur­dekin at your best you’re made to pay.”

North Ward will aim to get back to win­ning ways to­mor­row when they host Char­ters Tow­ers at the Townsville Sports Re­serve, while in the other round 15 fix­ture, se­cond- placed Broth­ers will take on the Ross River Red­skins at Ig­natius Park Col­lege. TDRU Round 15 Tonight: 7pm Bur­dekin v Teach­ers West, Casalegno Field ( Ayr).

To­mor­row: 4pm North Ward v Char­ters Tow­ers, Sports Re­serve; 5pm Broth­ers v Ross River, Ig­natius Park Col­lege. usu­ally

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