Wallabys to host big day out of family friendly footy
RUGBY LEAGUE: On paper it's just another game, but when Wallabys and Calliope clash their matches take on greater significance.
Grand finalists in last season's reserves competition, these local rivals have a healthy respect for each other but there's always a burning desire to claim bragging rights.
The 2016 grand final, won by Calliope, ended in farcical circumstances with a host of send offs that cut the Wallabys down to nine men and the Roosters down to 12.
Saturday's 3pm clash at Albion Park will offer the Wallabys a chance to move beyond last year's decider according to player/coach Ashley Dodd.
"There will be some feeling in the match, but we lost that grand final because of the way we behaved,” Dodd said.
"We're a better side from last year and niggle might come into it but that happens in every match.
"It's not about payback and we're trying to move on.
"They're a good side and they'll turn up to play and so will we.”
Wallabys are coming off a hard-fought 38-12 win over competition strugglers Fitzroy/Gracemere Sharks, while the Roosters blew an 18-0 half-time lead to settle for an 18-all draw against Biloela.
The Wallabys are undefeated so far this season and sit firmly within the reserves top-five with Calliope (one win, one draw, two losses) sitting mid-table in the 12-team competition.
Dodd expects to have some key players back for the Round 7 clash with himself, halves partner Matt Baker and fullback Jake Gower available after missing the Sharks clash.
Roosters playmaker Gavin Nicholas has also played down the rivalry between the sides.
"It's just another game,” Nicholas said.
"We've had a rivalry over the past couple of years but we're going into the match as if we're playing any other team.
"We'll have a good team this week and are getting more blokes to training so we should have a fairly good side.”
Meanwhile, Wallabys president Darren Martin is encouraging all rugby league fans to come down on Saturday with a full fixture list of juniors (under-6 to U11) and women's fixtures beginning from 8am.
"It's our only home game of the season and we're trying to get a good family atmosphere down at the ground,” Martin said.
"We're hoping the juniors stay at the ground to watch the seniors and there'll be plenty of activities to keep them entertained.”
Rockhampton Brothers Women play Calliope Women at noon followed by the Wallabys Women against Woorabinda Women match kicking off at 1.30pm.
Wallabys home fixtures - to be held at Albion Park on Tranberg Street.
- Juniors (U6-U11) - 8am until 12pm
- Rocky Brothers v Calliope Women - 12pm
- Wallabys v Woorabinda Women - 1.30pm
- Wallabys v Calliope Men - 3pm.