’Hungry’ Wolverines ready to put Falcons on the menu
GRIDIRON: The Rockhampton Wolverines are "hungry" and ready to dine out at Browne Park on Saturday night.
They will meet the Cairns Falcons in the Reef Bowl, the North Queensland Gridiron League grand final, at 6.30pm.
Wolverines vice-president and team lineman Mitch McAulay-Powell billed it as a "battle of the titans".
The Wolverines have enjoyed a stellar debut season, regularly beating their more experienced northern rivals to finish as minor premiers.
They have beaten the Falcons in two of their three meetings and are desperate to claim the coveted trophy.
McAulay-Powell said the players were raring to go.
"We are hungry, we are ready. This has been a year in the making," he said.
"We've worked really hard for this. The boys are pumped and they just want to get out and play.
"We know it's not going to fall in our lap but we're ready to take what we deserve."
McAulay-Powell said the Wolverines' defence, which has been a feature of their performances, would need to shine again on Saturday.
"Cairns is a big team, they are monsters and they hit hard, so we need to make sure that we are tackling hard," he said.
"They also have a really good run game, arguably one of the best in the comp, so our goal is to shut that down and make them throw.
"If we can stop their run game we're guaranteed a win.
"This is a big game on defence. I will say on the record that we have the best defence in the comp and our points difference reflects that.
"A lot of our defence hasn't played before so it just shows how much effort the boys are putting in."
McAulay-Powell said while it was hard to single out individuals because "everyone was playing so well", he did identify skipper and safety Jacob Borich and line backers Adam Clarke and Craig Ridoux as key figures.
McAulay-Powell said it was incredible to think what the Wolverines had achieved in their first year.
"We have a young squad and I don't think they appreciate yet just how far they've come," he said.
"I reckon on Saturday morning when we have the team walk-through it will really kick in."
Gates open at 5pm, the game starts at 6.30pm. Entry is $2.
Wolverines want crowd to 'get loud'
The Rockhampton Wolverines are hoping as many as 2000 fans turn out for their grand final at Browne Park, the spiritual home of rugby league.
Mitch McAulay-Powell, the club's vice-president and the team's left tackle, said anticipation was building for the much-anticiped clash with the Cairns Falcons.
"What a perfect location to have Rockhampton's first-ever Reef Bowl," he said.
"Browne Park is the best venue in Central Queensland. It's a beautiful field, it's like playing on marshmallows, and the facilities there are fantastic.
"This is a really important game because we want to show Rockhampton and Central Queensland how good gridiron can be.
"We invite the community to come out - bring your kids, bring your grandparents.
"This is something unique and we want everyone to experience it and enjoy it.
"We want the crowd to get as loud as they can and really help drive the boys home."