Topics:  bruce thorpe, easts magpies

Magpies wary of arch-rivals

DESPITE winning their two matches so far, Easts Magpies coach Bruce Thorpe is unsure how they will go in their 4BU/Hitz FM A-grade Premiership clash with RT Edwards Brothers tomorrow.

The game will culminate a bumper program of eight matches at Salter Oval and an A-grade triple-header, which will start with a showdown between Waves Tigers and Wallaroos at 3.10pm, to be followed by a duel between West Panthers and Isis Devils.

The Magpies have beaten the Tigers 40-22 and Devils 38-22 respectively to date, so their defence is not up to par yet.

Thorpe said they would also be without a couple of players because of injuries and unavailability, including blockbusting front rower-come centre Tyson Knight, who he said had been called up to the Central United Mal Meninga Cup side.

"We will still have a mix of youth and experience. The likes of old heads Scott McIntyre and Colin Frohloff are starting to get a bit of fitness but we used seven under-18s last week and they all did well. We will be much the same again," Thorpe said.

"Our best was Kristian Colasimone, who played fullback. In U-18 he's a back rower but I can ask him to play wherever and he will do the job for us. He's goes real well. Mitch Wilkinson was again good. The kid has got a terrific work-rate.

"The core of the group will be there, basically, and this weekend we've got Matt Tanner back - he's been away with work - and Reece Maughan back, and they will be a boost."

Brothers had the bye last Saturday after opening their quest for a hat-trick of titles with a 68-10 demolition of the Seagulls. Thorpe said his main goal at this stage was to just be competitive against them.

"Brothers look like a big side but I just know my boys are keen to be competitive. I don't really know how good Brothers are. They played a Hervey Bay team that was well and truly under-strength in their first game and I don't know what they are about, really," he said.

Wallaroos will be determined to bounce back from their 20-point loss to the Seagulls when they suit up against the win-less Tigers, while the Devils will be hungry for their first win against the Panthers, who were impressive in their first match of the year last week against Waves.

Bundaberg Rugby League president Mike Ireland said the women's competition was under way.

"And if you want to see some good, hard rugby league, come to Salter Oval early and watch the 3.10pm match, where Brothers take on Cherbourg and at 4.50pm Waves meet Easts," Ireland said.

"The skill some of the girls show is worth watching and I can assure they do not take a backward step."


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