Real TRL showdown in Round 3 clash
THE Warwick Cowboys have a dream promotion in week 3 of the Toowoomba Rugby League competition, a Sunday home game against premiers Wattles on March 29.
Warwick hosts Brothers in round 1 in a Saturday night fixture on March 14 and then travels to Pittsworth for a Sunday game on March 22.
Cowboys captain-coach Matt Gainey said the draw had given his team a tough start to the season.
"Brothers have signed the Loxley brothers from Souths, Ben and Sean, so will be a lot stronger than last year," he said.
"I have heard on the grapevine that Pittsworth will be a lot stronger."
Gainey said Wattles would be one of the teams to beat.
"We can't take too much out of the Barrett Shield win as Wattles had some of their more experienced players out," Gainey said.
"The boys always look on the draw to see when they are playing Wattles, it is the local derby and the one you always want to play."
In a tough draw, Warwick has 2013 premiers and last year's grand finalists Gatton at Gatton in round 4.
Wattles has a bye in round 1, have a re-run of last year's grand final against Gatton in round 2 and then Warwick at Warwick in round 3.
Halfback and reigning TRL player of the year Matt Duggan said it was a hard start to the season for his team with only the one trial.
Duggan is not sure if he will play in the first fortnight of the season.
"I torn my hamstring at training but it would be nice to be back for Gatton and Warwick. I have never done a hamstring before so we will have to see how it goes," Duggan said.
While he is not training at present, Duggan heads to Wattles training for a look.
"We have had a lot of people away and it has been a bit miss and match," Duggan said.
"Once it kicks back in, we will be hard to beat. I am sure Gatton will be one of the top sides again.
"We were understrength against Warwick but they will improve as well on that game and will be hard to beat.
Duggan said Harry Fulwood impressed at training and against Warwick.
"Joe Koina at fullback for Wattles will be hard to contain this season. We have lost Jackson Green but I am sure Joel will take advantage of getting more ball and in better spaces at fullback."
"We have a few new players in the forwards but will have to wait and see how they go."
Round 1 Warwick at home to Brothers March 14
Round 2 Wattles at home to Gatton March 22
Pittsworth at home to Warwick March 22
Round 3 Warwick at home to Wattles March 29