Pioneers may target Jerry in FNC rugby

PIONEERING TROJAN: Lennox Head No 8 Jerry Faifaise on the run against Ballina in FNC rugby union.
PIONEERING TROJAN: Lennox Head No 8 Jerry Faifaise on the run against Ballina in FNC rugby union. Deb Milgate

THERE will be no love lost when Lennox Head No8 Jerry Faifaise comes up against his former club Wollongbar-Alstonville for the first time in FNC rugby union at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head, today.

Faifaise spent three seasons with the Pioneers and joined the Trojans midseason after not playing many games this year.

"It seems like he is looking forward to it and he can expect a bit of extra attention from them, no doubt,” Lennox Head coach Jason McCombie said.

"It should add some extra spice but our boys have really welcomed him to the club and they will be there to support him.

"His partner lives in Lennox Head and he has a young family so it makes sense for him to be here.”

It looked like Faifaise might not have played this year after injuring a knee in the pre-season.

He missed the game last weekend with some niggling injuries but will be a valuable addition with flanker Harry Witt out today after receiving his third yellow card of the season.

Faifiase was a key part of three straight premiership wins at the Pioneers and also spent time in the NSW Country train-on squad during that time.

"We have just about everyone back on deck now and Jerry will be our No 8 in the semi-finals,” McCombie said.

"He brings to us every- thing that we don't have and that's a big body with plenty of rugby experience.

"In our team he is a leader and he's been really good four our young blokes.

"Our field is really hard at the moment and a lot of our guys are sore and carrying injuries from that.

"I think whichever forward pack is willing to get roughed up and grazed will win.”

The game will have an inclusion and diversity theme where each player from both teams will wear a different sock.

There will also be a Bundjalung welcoming ceremony before the second grade kick-off at 1.50pm.

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A win would keep Ballina on track for the minor premiership while the club will be celebrating a reunion of its grand final-winning teams from the 1987, 1997 and 2007 seasons.

Lismore City host the Southern Cross University Gold Rats.

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