TALENTED: Sunshine Coast Falcons playmaker David Oakes.
TALENTED: Sunshine Coast Falcons playmaker David Oakes. John McCutcheon

Patience the key with Falcons half

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sunshine Coast coach Craig Ingebrigtsen says its important to stay patient with David Oakes after the ball-player struggled to make an impact against Townsville last weekend.

The 21-year-old played in the halves, for the first time this year, when regular pivot Alex Bishop was moved to hooker to fill in for the team's injured star player, Nafe Seluini (hamstring).

But Oakes clearly struggled during the 40-10 defeat.

"We weren't overly happy with him but it's a big ask to go and play the (ladder leading) Blackhawks in your first game," the coach said.

"We know he's got some ability. It's about making sure we're patient and he's patient about getting it right."

Seluini has been cleared to return but is unlikely to play the full game against reigning premier Ipswich at Hervey Bay on Saturday night (6.30pm).

So Nambour product Oakes will have a chance to further develop as a player when he comes off the bench.

"You don't want to give Ipswich the ball at your end with the style they play so with Oakes, he can kick it 50-60m downfield," Ingebrigtsen said.

The Falcons are seventh of 12 teams through seven rounds of the Intrust Super Cup while the Jets are 11th.

The match is set to attract 3000 spectators.

"We're working hard to get among the community at Hervey Bay and engage rugby league there," Ingebrigtsen said.

"We're trying to put together a Fraser Coast academy so the young players have a pathway into the Falcons system and the (affiliated) Melbourne Storm system.

"We're spreading our wings a bit but we're not neglecting our own kids on the Coast because they are important."

Follow @MMcInerney89 and #ISCHB for updates of the game.

SUNSHINE COAST: E Tautali, S Young, R Klein, C Klein, S Wright, A Bishop, R Jacks, E Kamikamica, N Seluini, M Cordwell, P Hollis, J Stimson, T Giess. Interchange: T Geraghty, J Ballinger, D Oakes, R Hansen, M Adams.



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