8 March, 2023

Yowies and Bulls ready to face off in league trial

The Kilcoy Yowies (pictured) and Brisbane Valley Bulls senior rugby league teams are ready for a showdown at Yowie Park this Saturday, as part of the pre-season.

Yowies and Bulls ready to face off in league trial - feature photo

Although both clubs are Somerset-based, it will be a rare – possibly even a first – occasion that they lock horns due to Kilcoy playing in the Sunshine Coast competition while Brisbane Valley plays in the Ipswich competition.

It will be the first trial of the year for the Esk-based Bulls, whereas a number of the Yowies players took part in a Nines tournament at Robina in January.

With Kilcoy reaching the Nines finals series in what was the club’s first hit-outs for a few years, coach Anthony Longbottom said “it was an awesome hit-out”.

Longbottom said the Yowies were likely to field a squad of about 20 players in this Saturday’s trial, which will feature 35-minute halves rather than 40-minute halves.

Kilcoy’s squad has an international flavour as it contains a mix of players from Australia, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

After Longbottom’s instructions were to “throw caution to the wind” at the Nines, he said the plan for this Saturday would be a mix of throwing caution to the wind and “some set plays”.

“We’ll treat it as a trial match,” he said.

Longbottom said he hoped the Yowies would develop “a bit of cohesion, and a bit of understanding among themselves”.

“At the moment at training they’re gelling well,” he said.

Longbottom indicated that the trial match should give him a clearer idea of the make-up of the Kilcoy team for the start of the season proper.

“We’ll have a good-sized forward pack which every team needs, and they’re mobile,” he said.

Longbottom suggested Ross Delaiverata would be one player to watch, as Delaiverata reminded his coach of Melbourne Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona due to his physique.

Longbottom said Delaiverata had mongrel in him and was “hard to stop”.

Kilcoy’s coach also said the team’s backline would bristle, while it contained plenty of size and pace from five-eighth to the wing. Longbottom said he wasn’t sure what the Bulls would have, but that things “would be interesting”.

Bulls coach Craig Melville likewise indicated he wasn’t too sure what to expect from the Yowies.

“We don’t know too much about them, but in saying that we won’t be taking them lightly,” he said.

Melville was satisfied with the squad he had, as Brisbane Valley’s line-up is expected to contain a mix of continuing players and newcomers.

Familiar names including Caleb Karreman, Joe Perrett, Jessie Russ, Josh Beitzel and Lenny Koivi are likely to team up with new players Joel Tuiloma, Jake Richter, Eddie Thaggard and Michael Tone.

With the team having trained for about 10 weeks, Melville said he was impressed with “how connected the players are”.

“Everyone gets along,” he said.

Melville said the main things he hoped the Bulls would get out of the trial were trying out some new combinations and seeing how the team gelled.

“(A) few spots (are) up for grabs,” he said.

“(We’ll look to) give everyone an opportunity.”

Kick-off will be at 6pm.


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