Wise coach knows drill
The seventh round of the Retravision Northern League is giving Kyogle Bush Turkeys captain-coach Wise Kativerata flashbacks to his days in the National Rugby League.
The Fijian international said the game tomorrow against his 2007 Marist Brothers' club mates reminded him of when he played for South Sydney against his former club St George Illawarra.
"I was playing with the Dragons in 2004 and left half-way through the year to play with South Sydney, and four games later I had to play against them," Kativerata said.
"They all gave it to me on the field.
"I bet it's going to be the same this weekend."
But Kativerata said he wasn't fazed about getting some extra muscle from Brothers' defence.
"I know a lot of the young kids there (at Brothers) but it's just another game for me," he said. "I'm going to be on the ball and try to help Kyogle."
Marist Brothers coach David Krause said while his former player and now rival coach had to be respected, he would not get any special attention.
"I have a lot of respect for Wise but we haven't created any special plans," Krause said.
"He's just another bloke that we have to look at shutting down.
"He's a threat, a quality player, but it's not just him, he has plenty of other blokes who can hurt us
"If we get our own game right, we can hopefully nullify most of the blokes they have."
Both captains agreed that the fierce rivalry between the clubs was a thing of past.
Krause said it was a different feel now to when he bashed it out against the Turkeys in the 1990s.
"They were probably the toughest games back then,' he said.
"We always came away from Kyogle sore and sorry. At the time we were the side to beat and they fancied knocking us off.
"Their crowds always gave us a healthy welcome we thrived on it. But we're two totally different teams now."
And Kativerata said it was pure mathematics.
"It's just another week in football and we're chasing another two competition points," he said.
"They're above us on the ladder.
"It's going to be a really tough game but our boys are ready for a big one."
Elsewhere, Byron Bay host Mullumbimby in what is probably the fiercest local rivalry.
Byron Bay coach Nathan Cross said he remembered the fear that Mullumbimby evoked when he played first grade as a 16-year-old.
"To be honest, it was a bit scary," he said.
"There was a lot of talk and animosity and everyone tried to hit that bit harder and the build-up was generally a lot bigger.
"But to be honest, I'm keeping out of it this year.
"It's round seven. It's not a semi-final. It's just another game we want to win.
"This is our first big test of the season and will give me a good guide as to where we actually are in the competition."
But Mullumbimby coach Damon Scott said he expected some extra energy in the match.
"Mullum v Byron is always big," he said.
"It's been that way for years and years.
"It's a bit of a love-hate relationship.
"It's usually pretty fiery and I expect nothing less this time."
Casino face their biggest ask of the year when they host undefeated Grafton Ghosts.
Ballina travel to take on the Grafton Rhinos.
In other games, Murwillumbah host South Tweed and Cudgen host Tweed Coast Raiders.