TOP FORM: Henry Maudsley (pictured in action for the Mary Valley Stags) was a stand-out performer in his return to the Gympie Hammers at the weekend.
TOP FORM: Henry Maudsley (pictured in action for the Mary Valley Stags) was a stand-out performer in his return to the Gympie Hammers at the weekend. LEEROY TODD

Gympie Hammers smash pre-season, dominant Colts side return

RUGBY UNION: The Gympie Hammers are in better shape than ever, but still need committed players to suit up as they look ahead to the start of their 2019 season this month.

The Hammers held their first home event for the year at Albert Park last weekend, welcoming a huge turnout and taking the opportunity to blood their new sides on the hallowed turf.

Headlining the pre-season hitout was the dominant display put on by the Hammers' revamped Colts under 17-19 squad, which put Caboolture to the sword in their contest.

The Hammers women combined with sides from Noosa and Maroochydore to play in a North-South rivalry scratch match against a combination Caloundra, University and Caboolture line-up.

The South prevailed in the 15-a-side contest to get even with the North, which won the year before, but Hammers president Jason McPherson said all players had a unique opportunity to work in confined spaces before the regular season began.

The men's side took the field last and maintained a slim lead for most of the match, before Caboolture crossed the line with just minutes remaining to scrape a 10-7 win.

The return of Henry Maudlsey to the men's fold was a welcome one, with the star player catching the president's eye in a stand-out on-field performance.

McPherson said all three sides had shown plenty of promise ahead of the season proper.

"It was a tremendous day, it really was one of the biggest club days we've ever had,” he said.

"The rugby was of a very high quality. The newly formed Colts side were excellent and they showed great signs.

"All the coaches were able to try some different combinations and a few new things, which is important before the season. Our sponsors have been incredible, they've really been the making of us and provided us with some much-needed support.”

McPherson, who said the Hammers were continuing to welcome junior numbers and encourage commitment from senior players, said now was "the right time to come on board”.

"We're a lot more professional, in terms of looking after the field, the scoreboard and the canteen services we've really taken some positive steps to a secure future,” he said.

McPherson said he and the coaches would work as a collective to bring the Hammers back to A-grade competitions by 2021.

He said he was looking forward to seeing feverish local support for the Hammers' first home games at Albert Park next Saturday afternoon. The men's side will take on Maroochydore, while the Colts and Ladies will line up against University.

Gympie Times


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