Sport

Roos to face Seagull challenge head-on

A TRY on debut made Joey Alberts help settle into Wallaroos' A-grade side.

Alberts, 17, played in Bundaberg Rugby League's top grade for the first time in last week's 32-14 loss to Wests Panthers.

While he did not get to enjoy victory, the try certainly made the loss easier to take.

"That boosted my confidence - it felt great," Alberts said.

"I was nervous as it was my first time in A-grade but I couldn't wait to get out there. The boys were a bit hard but we didn't go out without a fight."

STRONG: Wallaroos winger Joey Alberts is met by the Wests Panthers defence in last week’s opening round loss at Stafford Park.
STRONG: Wallaroos winger Joey Alberts is met by the Wests Panthers defence in last week’s opening round loss at Stafford Park. Matthew Mcinerney

Alberts could face his biggest challenge if he lines up against Hervey Bay Seagulls speedster Billy Stefaniuk.

Last year's top try-scorer, Stefaniuk is one of the fastest men in the competition, but Alberts said the best way to stop him was to ensure he didn't get past.

"I'm not as quick as him but I'll give it a go," Alberts said.

Second-rower Ben Turner is another who has stepped up to A-grade for the first time.

One of the busiest forwards last week, Turner will be out to produce another strong performance against a "much more experienced" side.

"Seagulls have experience on us by a mile, and fitness of course, but the home game might be lucky for us," Turner said.

"The new team doesn't make it easy but (last week) wasn't too bad. Our first half was wicked but we tired out a bit in that second half. We just need a bit more fitness."

Hervey Bay Seagulls have no intention to allow Wallaroos to reclaim the George Baumann Memorial Shield.

The Seagulls won the trophy last year after three wins over the Maryborough club, and are not about to let their grasp on the silverware slip.

They will have to overcome an early injury crisis as seven players are unavailable.

Coach Tye Ingebrigtsen, who is among those injured, said it was not ideal to test his club's depth so early in the season.

Tonight's clash will also be the first time hooker Damien Otto plays against Wallaroos since he joined the Seagulls during the off-season.

It will be the first time Chris Ahon and Paul Shillingsworth line up for Wallaroos against their former club.

Isis Devils meet Waves Tigers in the first of three reserve grade games at noon, with the clubs' A-grade teams to meet at 4.30pm.

Wallaroos are scheduled to play Hervey Bay Seagulls at 6.30pm.

How Wallaroos will line up

1. Joey Alberts 2. Joe Burns 3. Paul Shillingsworth 4. Brandon Law 5. Ethan West 6. Shaun Collins 7. Luke Waters 8. Mark Berkery 9. Jack Horder 10. David Ball 11. Corey Hellmuth 12. Ben Turner 13. Chris Ahon 14. Ben Waters 15. Jesse Robertson 16. Joey Walker 17. TBA

How Hervey Bay Seagulls will line up

1. Alex Braun 2. Billy Stefaniuk 3. Nathan Martyn 4. Terry Horne 5. Junior Saumani 6. Caleb McLean 7. Clinton Horne 8. Will Elemani 9. Damien Otto 10. Brad Jung 11. Joel McCrea 12. Kevin Tranberg 13. Isaak Pedersen 14. Mitch Yarrow 15. Sione Nau 16. Amos Pelite 17. Steve Brudzinski

Topics:  bundaberg rugby league, hervey bay seagulls, rugby league, wallaroos



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