A grand fi­nal re­match

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Dane Lilling­stone dane.lilling­stone@ whit­sun­day­times.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: The wait is over for the Whit­sun­day Brah­mans as they get their first shot to avenge last year’s grand fi­nal loss.

The first round of the 2017 Mackay and District Rugby League com­pe­ti­tion kicks off on Satur­day, with the A-grade side to take on the 2016 pre­miers, the Mackay Mag­pies.

Brah­mans man­ager Bryce Fraser said there was some ob­vi­ous mo­ti­va­tion head­ing into round one.

“The boys will want to make amends for (the grand fi­nal loss),” he said.

“They’re very en­thu­si­as­tic about the sea­son be­gin­ning and to get out there and play some com­pe­ti­tion foot­ball.

“The vibe in the club is re­ally pos­i­tive.”

Un­for­tu­nately the club’s prepa­ra­tions have been ham­pered by Cy­clone Deb­bie.

“Be­fore the start of the sea­son we had four trial games planned and have only been able to play two of them,” he said.

“We haven’t been able to play our full strength squad yet.”

Fraser said half­back and new coach coach Phil Ramage had fit­ted into his new role per­fectly.

“He’s a nat­u­ral leader as it is,” he said.

“It’s been a pretty smooth tran­si­tion be­tween him­self and as­sis­tant Sam Key.”

The club will also de­but its new jersey in round one.

The Brah­mans un­der-19s (3pm), Re­serve Grade (4.30pm) and A-grade (6.30pm) play on Satur­day at Mag­pies in Mackay.

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

ALL SET: Whit­sun­day Foot­ball Club is ready for kick-off in the 2017 Mackay com­pe­ti­tion.

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