Band of Brothers stick together in NRRRL
A RESILIENT group of players are leading the way in a rebuild at Marist Brothers in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season.
Fullback Jacob Follent has moved from the halves while front-rower Lochie Perren and halfback Paul O'Neill are playing some of their best football.
The trio will have to lead from the front when the Rams host an in-form Murwillumbah at Crozier Field, Lismore, Sunday.
"Jacob is a good player, he's versatile and covering a couple of positions where we don't have much depth,” Brothers coach Michael Woods said.
"It's a benefit to us, he's always been a good player and he's come from an established side (in Sydney) to a young team where the playmakers are under a fair bit of pressure.
"Paul is one of the most consistent players I've ever seen and he's respected by everyone in the competition.”
Brothers have been in the finals mix most years over the past decade but find themselves in a rebuilding year after most of the players moved on after last season.
Woods is adamant they are doing the right thing by building from beneath in reserve grade and under-18s instead of signing players from other clubs.
Centre Josh Patston came into first grade last year and was NRRRL Rookie of the Year.
Hooker Mitch Slaven was promoted this season after he took out NRRRL Reserve Grade Player of the Year in 2018.
"Everyone realises we're a very young side and we've lost a lot of players who are dominating at other clubs,” Woods said.
"It was a lot to lose in one go but we're giving guys a chance who have been knocking on the door for a while.
"Some people thought we brought Josh up too early last year and he's already one of the best centres in the competition.
"Mitch Slaven has come out of a very good reserve grade team, he's done well and still has the potential to build on his game.
"Lack of experience and depth is our biggest issue but they've been improving in every game.
"The club is really proud of our first grade players and the effort they put in.
Kick-off is 2.45pm.
In other games
- Byron Bay takes on Northern United at Red Devil Park, Byron Bay, and Evans Head hosts Ballina at Stan Payne Oval tomorrow.
- Casino has a big game against Cudgen at Queen Elizabeth Park in Casino Sunday, while Kyogle hosts Tweed Coast at New Park.
- Games kick-off at 2.45pm.
- Ballina 16
- Murwillumbah 16
- Casino 16
- Kyogle 14
- Tweed Coast 12
- Cudgen 11
- Byron Bay 11
- Northern United 8
- Marist Brothers 8
- Mullumbimby 6
- Evans Head 2