Coach pulls on boots
THINGS could get a bit strange when Lennox Head host Casino in Far North Coast rugby union today.
Should the battle get tense – the teams’ records suggest it probably won’t – the Trojans will have a pair of experienced representative players on the field who can both make a case that they should be calling the shots.
Jeff Wilson has captained the Trojans to the top of the ladder in 2010 but for the first time in three years his coach, Paul Jeffrey, is set to lace on the boots.
Jeffrey is a talker and an organiser – a typical halfback – and wouldn’t be himself if he wasn’t calling the shots.
But Wilson won’t be relinquishing his post.
“Pauly will want to listen to me or I’ll sit him down,” Wilson said, tongue-in-cheek.
“No, we actually work really well together.
“Paul rings me to bounce rugby ideas and I do the same – there won’t be any clashes on the field.”
It will be the first time Wilson has played with his now-coach but in his days as a Central North representative he went head-to-head with Jeffrey a few times.
“He is like a little jack-rabbit – chirpy and cheeky I suppose is a nice way to put it,” Wilson said.
“But he was the perfect sportsman – he would bash you on the field and then buy you a beer after the game.”
Back-rower James Coventry is the first victim of Jeffrey’s rotation plan leading into the finals.
Jaysen Thompson stepped in last Saturday and took his chance with both hands to the point where Jeffrey has had to keep him.
“He played that good there is no way we could drop him,” Wilson said.
Lennox will be wearing pink jerseys for their Williams Reserve clash and then auctioning them after the game.
In other FNC rugby action today:
Wollongbar-Alstonville host Ballina as well as a collection of club legends who will turn out for the Old Boys Day which celebrates Pioneers of the past.
The inaugural Pioneers are travelling from Sydney, Bundaberg and everywhere in between as the second-placed team seeks to maintain its lofty standing.
Pioneers winger Adam Morris will have his work cut out trying to mark the FNC’s leading try-scorer Ben Robinson (8).
Ballina will be looking to shake off the rust in the lead-up to the finals, with a win and a draw in their past two starts.
The Pioneers, meanwhile, are chasing four wins in a row.
Southern Cross University face Grafton in the battle of the bottom.
The Gold Rats are seven points clear of the Redmen at the foot of the table and a win could gift wrap the wooden spoon to the men from the south.
SCU have the bye next weekend and will be looking to end a forgettable season on a high.