Greens captain on road back
THE return of talismanic captain Glen Paisley will bolster the Lismore Greens as they seek to unsettle the top-placed Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers at Lyle Park, Wollongbar, in Far North Coast rugby union today.
Paisley is making his way back via the reserves and will sit on the bench for the first grade.
It’s his first game back after badly dislocating a finger earlier in the season which later required surgery.
Coming back from a general bye last weekend it’s exactly the sort of news Lismore coach Richard Hughes had wanted to hear.
“He’s been sadly missed, but his inclusion will bring out the best in the rest of the group,” Hughes said.
“Glen is a quality player. He’s an ex-Country rugby representative and he has a stabilising influence on the team.
“We are very pleased to have him returning to the fold.”
Hughes is hoping the Greens can win all three of their remaining games and put a bit of pressure on the top two teams in the run home to the finals.
“We are getting to the business end of the season and we want to start stringing some games together,” he said.
“They beat us in the first round but there was only a couple of points in it.”
Meanwhile, Lennox Head Trojans coach Paul Jeffrey is expecting Southern Cross University to test them when the teams meet at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head.
Already assured of a finals spot, Lennox Head will be resting four players for the game – Matt Liddle, Ben Rampling, Tony Buchanan and Sam Stewart.
“It’s just more of a mental thing to try to challenge ourselves coming into the finals,” Jeffrey said.
“We want to share the workload around and see how people handle the responsibility of playing under pressure in a foreign position.
“We can’t just coast into the semis. Every week we want to put ourselves under pressure and see how we deal with the pressure the opposition puts us under.”
The injury-ravaged Casino Bulls will host last-placed Grafton in the other game today.
With 17 players on the injury list, the Bulls will be struggling to put a reserves and first grade team on the paddock.
Joe Radin (rib) and Nathan Quirk (unavailable) are the latest two players to drop out of the side, which has only pride to play for over the remaining three rounds.