Try, try and try again for rivals
TRY-SCORING titans Hughie Stanley and Fred Waters will provide a battle within the top-of-the-table battle between Lower Clarence and Northern United at the Maclean Showground tomorrow in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
The Northern Star understands Waters, the flying United winger, has crossed for 28 tries this season, while Stanley, the bustling Magpies centre, has scored 21 tries.
With only two rounds remaining, Waters should finish as the leading try-scorer for the competition but with a few tries tomorrow afternoon Stanley could apply some late pressure.
Both seem destined to fall short of the record set by South Grafton's Mark Laurie, who scored 37 tries in one scintillating season with the now defunct Rebels in 1994.
Before that another South Grafton player, Terry Stephens, held the record with 36 tries from 14 games in 1972.
The Magpies suffered the first of only two defeats so far this season against United in the second round when Waters crossed for his first try of the season in the final minutes of the game.
“They've both definitely been on the scoresheet a fair bit,” Lower captain-coach Dallas Waters said.
“I certainly remember Fred's try from that game. He's been scoring tries week in and week out so we have to minimise our mistakes against them to limit his opportunities.”
While Fred Waters came to United by way of Armidale, Stanley came to Maclean by way of Rockhampton.
“He followed his brother George Jarrett down and he has posted a few tries for us this season,” Dallas Waters said.
“He's only 18 and he has ambitions of securing an NRL Under-20s contract.
“I think he's shown he has the ability to potentially attract one.
“There has been a bit of interest from some NRL clubs but I'm not too sure when they'll take a look at him.”
United have stuck with blond-haired tyro Anthony Robinson after his three-try debut performance at halfback last weekend.
Robinson was expected to drop to reserve grade to allow former South Sydney NRL player Michael Moran to slot back into the side, but Moran is unavailable again.
It leaves the Dirawongs short of experience in the halves with regular lock Alwyn Roberts listed to start at five-eighth for the out-of-favour Justin Bolt.
United have also been unable to overturn the bans on NSW Country representative Clarence Kelly and Willo James, who received three-match suspensions last week for comments they made to a touch judge while watching a game their club was not playing in.
In some good news, prop Dave Fernando has been named on the bench after recovering from injury.