Battle lines drawn in match to honour mate
"IT WOULD be awesome if we could lift the shield for Travis tonight.”
After a tough season once again in the Spring Cup, The Waves Falcons captain Fletcher Ericson wants to end their year on a high by winning for a mate.
Tonight they will battle the Bundaberg West Barbarians for the Travis Herschell Shield, a trophy named in honour of the former player for the Falcons who was killed in a car crash in Gin Gin in 2014.
A flanker for 10 years Herschell played for The Falcons while his brother Darel played for the Barbarians.
So far the contest has been dominated by the Barbarians with wins in the first two shield matches, including a 14-10 victory last year.
Now The Waves want to end that and have been focusing on the match for most of the year.
"Talk all season has been about this game coming up,” Ericson said.
"Nothing really matters in this season for us apart from this game, so that is our mentality.”
And the captain reckons players will come from everywhere to take part.
"We'll have maybe 20 to 25 players hopefully turn up,” he said.
"He had a big reputation with the Falcons as a very hard hitter.”
After a frustrating year for the side with on and off field issues, Ericson said the Falcons felt now was the time to secure a valuable win.
"We've lost a few players and we've lost the coach so there has definitely been up and downs.”
"It really would be a picture perfect end to our season.”
But the Barbarians are not going to give up the shield without a fight.
Herschell was known to many at the club.
One of those is captain James Courtice who went to primary school with Herschell and battled plenty of times on the field against him.
Courtice said he was a fierce competitor.
"He never backed down from anything,” he said.
"He was a strong hard tough player.”
And Courtice said the side can't underestimate The Waves Falcons despite them not winning anything for two years.
"I know that when we come up against the Falcons it will be a tough affair,” he said.
"We have a really good rivalry, we bring the best out of each other.”
Courtice said the game would prepare them perfectly for the first game of the finals next week against defending premiers the Turtles.
"It's a big occasion and the boys are really up for it,” he said.
"We don't want to give up on the shield, so we'd love to hold it again.”
The game will start at 6.30pm at The Waves Sports Ground.