Topics:  barastoc national polocrosse championships, polocrosse

NT breeds 'em tough

TERRITORIANS: (foreground) Ray Cook with his fellow Northern Territorians (from left) Grant Clarke, Gavin Howie, Wade Howie, Tyson Armstrong, Steve Nolan, Brenton 'Crasher' Ascoli, Greg Thompson Lauren Howie and Cream Puff the horse.
TERRITORIANS: (foreground) Ray Cook with his fellow Northern Territorians (from left) Grant Clarke, Gavin Howie, Wade Howie, Tyson Armstrong, Steve Nolan, Brenton 'Crasher' Ascoli, Greg Thompson Lauren Howie and Cream Puff the horse. Georja Ryan

THE Northern Territorians have not only brought with them a herd of horses to Morgan Park, they've brought hearts of gold and skin of steel.

They can battle the heat of the NT, so they're pretty darn tough.

They've travelled this far, so they reek of determination.

And judging by their smiles, welcoming greetings and quirky humour, they're some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

But the guys and girls from up north don't have it as easy as some of the other states and head coach Ray Cook said despite a number of disadvantages, the NT crew were here and ready to play some hardcore polocrosse.

Due to the heat over December to March, players could not train on their horses, so it was bicy-crosse for the most part of the past few months.

"While other people are playing in their season, the NT has their wet season where it's so hot the horses can't handle it," Mr Cook said.

"After Christmas, we couldn't get them on horses because it was far too hot, so we got them playing polocrosse on pushbikes."

The humidity and ground conditions can have harsh impacts on the horses, so some players send their horses down south during the wet season.

He said players from the NT didn't have the option to compete against other clubs very often which meant limited experience with other states.

Mr Cook said the troops that had ventured to the Rose City for the nationals were determined, pumped and not without smiles across their faces.

"They're genuine, real, not made up and this is the truth of what it's like," Mr Cook said.

"In the NT, you will not find an inch of arrogance among the people.

"They are wonderful, quality people and I hope everyone can get to Darwin for the 2014 nationals."



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