Giants play for Grant in NRRRL
THE return to Mullumbimby will be even more emotional for the Giants this weekend when they host Murwillumbah for the inaugural Grant Cook Cup in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
Cook played for both clubs and died at a Gold Coast hospital after he collapsed on the field playing for Murwillumbah in the preliminary final last year.
This Sunday will be the first time Mullumbimby has played at home since 2015, after they were forced to sit out last season due to lack of players.
It will be a tough test against the defending premiers who have only played one game since Cook died, when they won the grand final a week later.
"It certainly will be emotional and Grant had plenty to do with both clubs,” Mullumbimby committee member Steve Butler said.
"It all happened not that long ago and it's a memory that won't fade away any time soon.
"We'll have Grant's parents Geoff and Jean there to present the cup to the winning captain.”
It will be a special occasion for Murwillumbah halfback Wayde Kelly, who also played at both clubs with Cook.
He last played for Mullumbimby in 2015 and was one of the Mustangs' best when they won the grand final last year.
The Giants looked like they would return with a first up win before a try in the final minute snatched a 20-18 victory from them when they played the Casino Cougars earlier this month.
"There is a bit of a buzz at the moment (after the narrow loss) and people are talking of what may come for the rest of the season,” Butler said. "By all indications we'll be competitive and that doesn't always happen when you come back from a year off.
"Dan (Molenaar) has done a lot of work to get them going again and he's back playing, too.
"If we sat out another year I think it would have been pretty tough to get back on track. People got behind us early and some good sponsors came on board which was crucial.
"We haven't lost many players (from 2015) and a lot of them are still playing rugby so we work in with their club.”
Games start from noon at Les Donnelly Field.