Brahmans prepare for a blockbuster
RUGBY LEAGUE: Les Stagg Oval will be the scene for a rugby league blockbuster on Saturday night.
Whitsunday Brahmans fresh from an opening round triumph welcome defending Mackay District Rugby League A-grade premiers Wests to Proserpine.
Coach Tye Ingebrigtsen has made just the one enforced change to the side which shook off Brothers 14-10 on April 27.
James Salter is likely to miss at least a month due to a knee injury and has been replaced at five-eighth by Jack Creighton.
Brahmans team manager Bryce Fraser said Creighton had earned his spot on the back of a five-star showing in reserve grade first-up.
"Jack played in the Under-20s for Canterbury and he's one of the biggest five-eighths around,” he said.
"He's a skilful player and comes into the side to fill the gap left by James' injury.”
Fraser said the visiting Tigers would provide the strongest indication yet of the progress made under new coach Ingebrigtsen.
"It might be Round 2, but this is a huge game for us,” he said.
"This week will give us a good gauge of where we are at as a footy team and where we need to be tracking this year.”
The Brahmans depth in the forward pack is such that Ivan Petelo, who was named in the North Queensland Marlins squad after starring for Mackay in the Foley Shield, has been named on the interchange bench.
Former Easts Tigers duo Ash Little and Adam Crear, co-captain, have fitted into their new surroundings impressively, as have fullback Augustus Rangihuna and winger Chol Chol.
Adding an extra edge to the contest is the fact the Matthew Alderton Shield is up for grabs, played in honour of the late former Tigers junior and Brahmans senior player. The shield is determined by the results of all three games.
Kick-off in A-grade is 7pm, with reserve grade at 5pm and Under-19 at 3.30pm.
Fraser said the Brahmans were optimistic of getting a big crowd for what promised to be one of the games of the season.
Admission $8 for adults, $4 students/pensioners and kids under-12 are free.
Gates open at 2.30pm, with full bar/canteen and coffee van in operation.
BRAHMANS: 1. Augustus Rangihuna, 2. Chol Chol, 3. Karmon Power, 4. Rainer Power, 5. David Kay, 6. Jack Creighton, 7. Scott Evans, 8. Rohan Pottinger, 9. Clint Broomham, 10. Isaac Richardson, 11. Darcy Wright, 12. Adam Crear, 13. Ash Little. Interchange: 14. Byron Taylor, 15. Tyson Skyring, 16. Ivan Petelo, 17. Adam Curtis.
WESTS: 1. Tom Edwards, 2. Jake Thornton, 3. Zac Walker, 4. Harry Pondekas, 5. Nev Grant, 6. Liam Taylor, 7. Sam Clune, 8. Masi Nona, 9. Jake Eden, 10. Harold Snell, 11. Jesse Dee, 12. Darryl Brennan, 13. Darcy Cox. Interchange: 14. TBA, 15. Toby Brice, 16. Brodie Palmer, 17. Shannon Wakeman.