Hammers blitz trial match
A RIGOROUS pre-season training program is beginning to pay dividends for the Gympie Hammers rugby union outfit after blitzing a trial match against the Fraser Coast Mariners at the weekend.
Played away Saturday, the Hammers returned home riding the wave of success after crushing their opponents 29-20 in the friendly pre-season hit out.
Hammers coach David Crowley was thrilled with the result, achieved in hot and humid conditions.
“We were short of a few players but the reserves stepped up and overall the team really put in the effort,” he said.
“Full accolades to the players because it’s their win and they worked hard to earn it.”
The Hammers crossed a total of four times in the match, divided into four quarters.
Ryan McLeod crossed twice while Ricky-Lee Hasnip also broke through Fraser Coast’s defence to plant the ball.
The remaining two tries were achieved following continual pressure being applied by the Hammers. “Our defence was great and the strategies we put into place last year were paying off,” Crowley said.
“We also had a few tries we were able to break away, so the attack was really good as well.”
Overall, Crowley is reluctant to announce a reborn Hammers side, but is quick to say his team is “shaping up well.”
Fraser Coast coach Geoff Davies predicted the Hammers would be a force deserving of respect this year.
“We had a touch of reality,” he said. “They’ve improved a lot and we hadn’t.”
The Hammers’ victory at the weekend is their second trial match win after toppling a visiting touring side at home earlier this month.
Players are keen to hit the training paddock this week after weeks of disruption due to wet weather.
The side’s first round match in the Sunshine Coast competition is scheduled for April 10 away and is sure to be a test against a fierce Maroochydore.