FIELD PREP: Peter and Tyler Bock laying turf at Salter Oval. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FIELD PREP: Peter and Tyler Bock laying turf at Salter Oval. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Up for the challenge

AS THE first changes to Salter Oval start in preparation for the upcoming NRL trial the Bundaberg Rugby League Association is confident everything will be done on time.

Earlier this week the oval was officially handed over to the BRL by the Bundaberg Cricket Association to allow the ground to be prepared.

On Wednesday turf was installed to cover over the pitch with further changes to start next week as the ground turns into an NRL oval.

President of the Association Mike Ireland said plenty of work will be done.

"This week we re-turfed the cricket wicket area as it was a bit bare," he said.

"We're hoping to start the grandstand next week and also install the goal posts."

The association has bought new goal posts which will now be four metres taller and up to NRL standards.

There will also be new lights installed in the top tier of each tower next Tuesday to provide more lighting to the area for the match.

Finally there will be two grandstands built with each aiming to hold around 2000 people.

There will also be plenty of food and beverages available on the day.

"The Rotary Club will run a barbecue with the Cricket and League Associations running a canteen," he said.

"We will also have five bars in action for use during the day."

Ireland added this was all to make sure the event was up to the standard of the competition.

"It's not just a matter of getting the game and doing no work. We've had to do a lot of work," he said.

"There's been a lot of work and the volunteer committee we have put together have done a fantastic job.

"The regional council has been very good to us as well."

With plenty of pressure on the association they want to make sure they can handle it.

"A lot of money is coming into Bundaberg. The economic benefits are calculated at around $1.5 million dollars," he said.

"It is a test for the Bundaberg region and for the Bundaberg Rugby League.

"With the work that has gone into it, we're doing it right, and it won't be a failure."

The association is hopeful to have everything done on Thursday before the match just in case the teams want to train on the ground before the contest.

"If we do this right we will have an NRL game down the track," Ireland said.

"I think people will be surprised with what we have done when they come to the game on February 6."



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