Current Marist Brother player Paul O’Neill played for Ballina in a grand final campaign last year.
Current Marist Brother player Paul O’Neill played for Ballina in a grand final campaign last year. Marc Stapelberg

Old rivals meet

MARIST Brothers Rams coach David Krause will be out to impress his former mentor when he leads his young team into battle against Ballina Seagulls in the NovaSkill NRRRL competition at Kingsford Smith Park, tomorrow afternoon.

The traditional rivals will contest the Denis Meaney Shield for the second consecutive year.

Meaney had a brilliant first grade career at Manly-Warringah and Western Suburbs in the 1950s-1960s, before moving on to play a vital role at both Northern Rivers clubs.

“He (Meaney) was my first coach in first grade and he won two premierships at the club (1986 and 1987),” Rams coach David Krause said.

“Denis had a foot in both camps, and I know he will be at the game.

“Apart from the grand final it’s probably our most important game of the season.”

Despite both sides fielding young teams, Krause believes the rivalry between the two clubs is alive and well.

“A lot of our guys played their entire junior footy against the Ballina boys,” he said.

“Paul O’Neill played in a grand final for them last year.” A lot will hinge on which Seagulls team turns up this week.

“Our backs have been against the wall, but we’ve had good numbers at training this week,” Ballina coach Don Dickson said.

“We gave Murwillumbah a scare last weekend and I think we can beat anyone on our day.”

Dickson is in doubt with a wrist injury and has moved hard working back-rower Robbie Miles to five-eighth.

“Robbie has been sensational for us this season,” he said.

“He has put in the hard yards and helped me through a difficult season.

“He backed up after the representative game last weekend and has worked overtime to become the best second-rower in the comp.

“If we turn up with a good attitude there is a good chance we can take the shield from Brothers.” Kick-off is 2.45pm.

Teams:

Brothers: Luke Baker, Mitchell Krause, Dylan Coleman, Peter Jeffrey, Chris King, Jake Campbell, Blake Carter, Darryl Butcher, Paul O’Neill, Tony Gava, Leon King, Brendan Brook, David Wood, Harry Dawson, Jack Woods.

Seagulls: Luke Simpson, Chris Dooley, Tyrone Kelly, Fred Pitt, Steve Anderson, Robbie Miles, Alwyn Roberts, Mitchell Packowski, Joel Roberts, Matt Connors, Abe Crawford, Terry Kelly, Dylan Wilson, Dylan Prestwidge



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