Hammers bunker down for clash
PLAYING at home will take on a new meaning today for the Gympie Hammers rugby union side as they lock horns with Maroochydore.
Albert Park, the Hammers’ home ground, is being rested ahead of a televised QCup match later this month as part of the Cooloola Rugby League’s 100 Years of League celebrations.
The decision to leave Albert Park lay bare means the Hammers will shift over to Gympie Rugby League’s Jack Stokes Oval.
Hammers coach David Crowley said the change in venue wouldn’t distract his players, but would offer a different “feel”.
“Jack Stokes Oval has good facilities, so it won’t be a problem,” he said.
Maroochydore looms as a major test for the Hammers, especially given the first time both teams met this season, Maroochydore handed Gympie a pasting.
The Hammers, however, won back some respect the last time the two sides clashed, winning the second half despite falling asleep in a disastrous first half effort.
“I have a lot of respect for Maroochydore,” Crowley said.
“They are really well balanced and skilled.”
The Hammers are almost at full strength, with only Dan Luva missing to injury.
Luva dislodged his knee cap last weekend and underwent surgery days later. He is now recovering in a cast.
Meanwhile, a fistful of other players will be absent owing to work commitments.
Today’s games kick off at Jack Stokes Oval at 1.30pm with Reserve grade and 3pm for the main game.