Games will be live-streamed in elite 47th Battalion comp
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone Raidettes and Raiders will field two strong women and men's teams for this weekend's 47th Battalion Carnival on the Sunshine Coast.
Raidettes and Raiders take on defending champions Rockhampton Rustlers and Sunshine Coast Falcons respectively at 10am on Saturday and games will be live-streamed on the Queensland Rugby League website.
Gladstone women's coach Andy Butler expects his team to perform and rise to the challenge.
"We will be competitive and our halves and hookers have all been on the same page," Butler said.
"After working with the ladies for some time now we know what our game plan will be."
Butler said second rower Rikarra Benjamin was an excitement machine and would be one to watch.
"It's like she has spiders on her because noone wants to tackle her," he said.
"Vassa Hunter, Carly Hill and Nakita Rhind will also be important players for us and Zeah Lane was injured early in the season but has come back really strong."
Butler said the standard would be elite with teams to have Queensland representative players and Australian players such as Stephanie Hancock.
Hancock plays for South West - Gladstone's game two opponent at 2pm on Saturday.
Raiders mentor Danny Blair said regular representative players David West (injured) and Jai Parter (work) would not be available and the pair would be replaced with Deklin Huth and Kyle Mongta.
"I think that we have a solid team across the board with each club represented," Blair said.
"I am looking forward to seeing how the different combinations within the team go, especially the combination between our halves in Ricky Noy and Kyle Mongta.
"Deklin Huth at fullback, Jayke Collins at hooker and Dayn Richards at lock will also look to continue their good form and perform well at the carnival."
Raiders finished eighth in 2017 and seventh a year earlier but Gladstone men did not have a team last year.
Blair said there was plenty of incentive to win the first game.
"The result of that first game will determine what further draw you go into." he said.
"If you win you go into the trophy draw and if you lose you go into the plate draw.
"The team will play three games over the weekend - two games tomorrow and one game on Sunday."
Blair said players had shown impressive form in the Gladstone Rugby League games.
He said the limited preparation for the weekend training-wise had been offset with enthusiasm and hunger.
"The team only had three training sessions prior to going to the carnival but the attendance and enthusiasm from the players has been very positive," Blair said.
The coach said the aim was to upset the Falcons and improve from 2016-17.
"I think if we can stick to our structures and play to our strengths we will produce some good results," Blair said.
Selections will also be up for grabs in the women and men Central Crows teams, which will play in the QRL State Carnival against South East Queensland, South East Queensland Division Poinsettia's team and the Northern Marlins team.
Raidettes v Rocky 10am; Raidettes v South West 2pm
Raiders v Falcons 10am
Pool games and final
1. Deklin Huth 2. Jesse Ingham 3. Aaron Jensen 4. Beau Ephinstone 5. Kyle Mongta 6. Ricky Noy 7. Jai Parter 8. Christopher Riley 9. Jayke Collins 10. Ilya Ryzhankov 11. Eamon Chapman 12. James McCafferty 13. Dayn Richards 14. Leith Hammelswang 15. Benjamin Kerr 16. Kale Young 17. Daniel Jones 18. Kenneth Kelliher 19. Jamie Falls
1. Krystal Sulter 2. Ashleigh Docherty 4. Zeah Lane 5. Jamie Gillett 6. Vassa Hunter 7. Carly Hill 8. Katie Cunningham 9. Nakita Rhind 10. Jamie-Lee Gehrmann 11. Rikarra Benjamin 12. Jubilee Bennett 13. Sharnee Werahiko 14. Natasha Van Der Breggen 15. Rachel McConnell 16. Reggie Hickey 17. Martha Wharewera 18. Natalie Redgrave 19. Rebecca Piper-Mott