Duo bol­ster North

Townsville Bulletin - - AFL - JON TUXWORTH JOR­DAN GERRANS

TOWNSVILLE n e wc o mer s Leroy Lar­son and Jar­ryd Gra­ham are con­fi­dent North Queens­land can re­gain brag­ging rights over the city slick­ers from South Queens­land when the an­nual in­trastate AFL clash is played at Cairns this af­ter­noon.

A cur­tain raiser to the Gold Coast Suns- Western Bull­dogs clash at Cazalys Sta­dium, the duo are the only lo­cals in a squad dom­i­nated by Cairns tal­ent. Her­mit Tigers cen­tre half for­ward Lar­son is AFL Townsville’s lead­ing goal­kicker this year with 49 goals in 13 games af­ter ar­riv­ing from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory this sea­son.

Gra­ham, 24, joined Uni­ver­sity Hawks from North Bal­larat this year and de­spite hold­ing a 2- 1 se­ries lead, North Queens­land is look­ing to bounce back from last year’s loss.

“If we win in the mid­dle that will be the key,” Gra­ham said.

“If we can break them down there and get on top, it will go­ing a long way to win­ning the game of foot­ball.

“It’s go­ing to be good to play the elite play­ers in their league and see what the rest of Queens­land has to of­fer and test your­self against some of the best.”

Lar­son moved to Townsville to be close to his girl­friend, who is in the fi­nal year of study­ing vet­eri­nary sci­ence.

“North­ern Ter­ri­tory is very high skilled and high speed, but Townsville is still a strong league,” Lar­son said.

“All the guys are com­ing to­gether and hop­ing to get the win.”

Re­turn­ing SQ coach Danny Craven brings just nine play­ers from the 22 that beat NQ last year.

Craven has ear­marked young­sters Tommy Tem­ple­ton and Jai Fitz­patrick with vet­eran pair Ben Mer­rett and Daniel Dzufer as their key play­ers for this af­ter­noon.

“I think it’ll be a free flow­ing game. I think they’ve picked a run­ning side. Prob­a­bly so have we in that sense,” Craven said.

“It’ll footy.

“I think they’ve only got six of the 22 that played last year, so they’ve got a whole bunch of new faces. To a lesser de­gree so do we, we’ve got nine out of our 22.

“So there’ll be chal­lenges as there is every year in rep pro­grams from that point of view.”

The match will be played from 1.40pm.

In to­day’s AFLT Townsville match, North­ern Beaches take on Uni­ver­sity at North Shore from 8pm. be a quick game of

CON­FI­DENT: Leroy Lar­son and Jar­ryd Gra­ham will rep­re­sent North Queens­land against South Queens­land in Cairns to­day. Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

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