LEADING THE CHARGE: Hammers captain Ryan Gottke proves hard to contain for the Caboolture Snakes on his way to helping Gympie to a 14-5 victory at Albert Park on the weekend.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Hammers captain Ryan Gottke proves hard to contain for the Caboolture Snakes on his way to helping Gympie to a 14-5 victory at Albert Park on the weekend. Troy Jegers

The Hammers biggest stress in the 2019 season

RUGBY UNION: The Gympie Hammers have had a successful season but as the club continues to grow the new challenge is to secure a permanent home ground.

The Hammers colts won 24-5 at the weekend, and the men downed Caboolture 14-5, but it was a tough day for the women, who lost 34-12.

"The Caboolture side were large human beings and the girls did well to hang in,” Hammers president Jason McPherson said.

Owen Dugdale takes the ball up.
Owen Dugdale takes the ball up. Troy Jegers

"Paige Magner had a blinder. She scored a couple of tries from half way and is learning the art of kicking under pressure which has been a big growth in her game.

"Krystal Johnston had a big defensive game in the forwards. The biggest stand-out was Lilli Crumblin, she had a strong game and is mature beyond her years. She has been the driving force of the under-17's team.”

Despite not having a full strength side, the Hammers men were able to secure the win.

Callum Phillips goes to kick.
Callum Phillips goes to kick. Troy Jegers

"Jason Flickweerk, Henry Maudsley and Camden Lee were all away and we still managed to hang in there for a hard-fought fight and came up with the win,” McPherson said.

"Brent Dickfos had an absolutely outstanding leadership game; he led from the front.

"Ryan Gottke is another forward that leads from example as the captain.”

Mitch James.
Mitch James. Troy Jegers

The Hammers' mentality is changing as McPherson sees the side making its own luck.

"In the past, to play a game against a side like Caboolture we would have been finding ways to say we were lucky, but we are making the right decisions and our own luck,” he said.

Ben Topalov.
Ben Topalov. Troy Jegers

"It is like the saying goes, the harder we work the luckier we get and the boys are starting to see that.”

Finding a permanent home ground is the club's next big challenge.

Steven Cross.
Steven Cross. Troy Jegers

"We have outgrown Leprechaun Park,” McPherson said. "We do not have a long-term lease and we are trying get the other codes to work with us but we need somewhere long term.

"There is an opportunity to start juniors because a lot of parents have been asking for an under-12s, 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s and 17s but we need to find a solution.”

Gympie Times


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