Heavy workload awaits in battle with Burdekin
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