ROUND TWO: Northern United secretary, Grantley Creighton (left) and second-rower Sione Tonga, with Marist Brothers captain Luke Pettit and coach David Krause with the Bundjalung Cup trophy.
ROUND TWO: Northern United secretary, Grantley Creighton (left) and second-rower Sione Tonga, with Marist Brothers captain Luke Pettit and coach David Krause with the Bundjalung Cup trophy. David Nielsen

Bundjalung Cup, points at stake

THE Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) springs into action today with a cracking season-opener when Northern United and Marist Brothers clash for the second annual Bundjalung Cup.

The local derby holds such sway that the coaches of either side need not spend time motivating players, leaving more time for skill sessions and ballwork.

Dirawongs’ manager Grantley Creighton has been amazed at the response to the Bundjalung Cup which was last year won by the new club in its first year in the competition.

“I’ve been out west to Tabulam and that area through the week and they are all talking about this match,” Creighton said.

“The Cup has raised interest in the club, the game, and the competition, and no doubt they will be bringing in a busload to see the boys play again.”

Still stinging from last year’s grand final defeat the Dirawongs are keen to get on the park and play footy.

“We have been training since January, so all the boys are pretty anxious,” he said.

United lost a handful of key players in the off-season including Roy Bell, Chris Swan, Michael Moran and Buddy King, but their boss thinks they have recruited well enough to cover.

“We picked up Evan Hickling from Brothers and a few other handy players so I think we will be right,” he said.

Meanwhile, Brothers’ coach David Krause is happy to have the Bundjalung Cup as motivation for his side, but the man himself is eyeing off the two points on offer.

“We are really keen to get off to a good start after what was a disappointing year in 2009,” Krause said.

The Rams have been on a recruitment mission at Southern Cross University in the off-season where they claimed new halfback Joel McAfferty as well as Luke Pettit and Jack Woods.

The club also welcomes back Simon Andrews to the back-row and five-eighth Jake Campbell after the pair had a year off football.

The match kicks off at 3:45pm at Crozier Field, Lismore.



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