No go for the Raiders
RUGBY LEAGUE: In rather an unfortunate situation, Gladstone Raiders will not field a team in the 47th Battalion in Toowoomba.
Raiders were due to play reigning titleholders Toowoomba Clydesdales in game one, but the host team will progress directly to the trophy semi-final.
Raiders coach Dennis Moore was disappointed, but understood the situation.
"It's just the unavailability of players and we only had minimal numbers of players at training and had to make the decision quickly," he said.
"It's just the way it is and the nature of the beast."
Shift work, the long weekend and the popular Boyne-Tannum Hook-up, were other factors that took precedence.
The Gladstone Valleys coach also said other teams have a larger player pool to choose from.
When asked if players were able to arrange to play in the 47th Battalion several weeks in advance given that the date was established months ago, Moore said some players only make up their minds to play a week prior to the carnival.
"It's hard for players to get time off work and hopefully it's better timed next year," he said.
Toowoomba Rugby League chairman Brian Gilroy said it was unfortunate, as the side is keen to play, and will have one less opportunity to impress in front of Central Crows selectors.
Meanwhile it's all systems go for the female Gladstone team - Raidettes - to showcase its wares in game one against arch-enemy Rockhampton today at 11am.
Raidettes, which will feature Australian Jillaroo Chelsea Baker, then take on South West at 3pm today before the Pool A and B cross-over finals from 10am tomorrow.
Queensland Central Division manager Glenn Ottaway said the females have plenty of incentive.
""The announcement of the NRL Women's National Championship and the Queensland Country program has been a real coup for the female game and the 47th Battalion as a show-piece event," he told QRL.com.au.