Falcons call on Bundy to bond

FALCONS captain Hugh Byrnes has taken the extraordinary step of calling for traditional rivals Buccaneers and Barbarians to back his side in tonight’s grand final against Hervey Bay Mariners.

Falcons hope a strong crowd at Across The Waves Sports Ground will help them produce an upset victory over the unbeaten Mariners in the NewsMail Spring Cup.

“We’re hoping there is a big crowd that gets behind their local team,” Byrnes said yesterday.

“We’d like to think the Barbarians and the Buccaneers will come out and get behind us.

“Although we share a healthy rival with them on the field I’m sure they want to see the local side get up.”

Coach Nathan Freeman knows it will take more than a vocal crowd to stifle the red-hot Mariners.

“They have got a very well-balanced side across the paddock,” Freeman said.

His side has been training all week to combat the Mariners, who had an easy passage to the grand final after Barbarians withdrew from the semi-final last Friday night.

“We have got a strong forward pack that I think we can exploit on Friday night,” Freeman said.

“But we’ll have to stop their backs from doing the damage.”

Byrnes said there had been an emphasis on committing to an 80-minute effort.

“Everyone has to man-up, all night long,” Byrnes said.

“That was what we did against the Barbarians and it’s going to be the case again (tonight).”

“They are going to be the favourites, and no one can deny that they have been the strongest team all year.

“But I wouldn’t write off the Falcons.”

Freeman agreed: “Anything can happen in a grand final and the boys are definitely excited about this one.

“We know that we can beat them.”

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