Cougars get more bite
THE decision to return to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League in 2012 was an easy one for hooker Scott Gibson.
Gibson, a former Ballina Seagulls, Marist Brothers and Mullumbimby rake, will play for the Casino Cougars next season alongside another recruit, prop Luke Scott.
The pair last played together at the Mullum Giants in 2009 with Troy Johnstone, who is now the Casino coach.
Gibson has spent the past two years away from rugby league and became one the best lawn bowlers on the Northern Rivers with the Ballina Bowling Club.
"I'm only 26 and rugby league is in my blood," Gibson told The Northern Star yesterday.
"I didn't want to hit 30 and be too old to get back into it.
"Lawn bowls will always be there and I'll still try to play as much as I can.
"But I always said if Troy (Johnstone) ever coached that I would play for him.
"And the other big influence on my career has been Luke (Scott), so it was an offer too good to refuse."
Luke Scott comes to the club having played more than 30 first-grade games for the North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL.
He spent five seasons with the Redcliffe Dolphins in Brisbane in the Queensland Cup before stints with Marist Brothers and Mullumbimby.
He returns after a year out while his wife gave birth to twin boys.
"I grew up playing football with Troy and my wife has family in Casino, so it all came together," the 38-year-old said.
"Casino has always been there-abouts in the competition and hopefully Scotty and I can add a bit of experience to a young side."
Johnstone is thrilled to have the pair on board.
"We've been trying to find some experience and this is a step in the right direction," he said.
"You have a look at what Luke has done in the NRRRL; he's taken teams into semi-finals and always had success.
"We never settled on a hooker in 2011 and Scotty Gibson will fill that void perfectly."