Warriors at the helm for tough game against Diehards
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Wattles Warriors top-grade side take on the Dalby Diehards at Platz Oval on Saturday at 6.30pm with the Warriors keen to stretch their winning run to five consecutive matches.
They have accounted for Souths, Highfields, Pittsworth and, most recently a hard-fought 34-18 win over reigning TRL premiers Valleys.
Wattles' only loss in 2019 was in Round 1 to the Warwick Cowboys, after they were successful against the Cowboys in the pre-season local derby Barrett Family Shield.
Aside from premiership points, Wattles and Dalby A-grade teams will contest the Rod Frahm Memorial Cup. First game at 3.30pm Saturday.
The late Rod Frahm is a former Wattles player, A and reserve-grades coach, committee member, sponsor and life member, along with his wife Janette Frahm, as well as being a former member of the Toowoomba Clydesdales Board.
Wattles player/coach Travis Burns is confident he has the line-up to dispatch the fifth-placed Diehards but won't take them lightly.
"Dalby is a competitive outfit with strengths across the park,” Burns said.
"They are coming off a close loss to Highfields so will be determined to return to the winners circle and snatch the premiership points.”
Wattles will have its four Toowoomba Clydesdales stars - Nathan Gaulton, Matt Duggan, Ty Gardner and Dale Perkins - but injuries have hindered the top-of-the-table side's preparation this week.
Rep centre Jake Hargreaves will be absent from the Warriors' three-quarter line for some weeks with a wrist injury suffered in the Valleys clash.
Michael Marshall returns from an injury lay-off filling the back-line gap, while young under-18 back Matt Christiensen will run on the wing for his second A-grade start this season after a stunning debut against Pittsworth last month.
Wattles classy U18 skipper and lock Jack Duggan will make his A-grade debut off the bench after showing outstanding form in the Warriors colts.
Utility forward Matt Richards, who headed Wattles way from Brisbane club Wynnum-Manly this season, will wear the hooker's jersey in the absence of Joe Morris.
"We have a few changes” Burns said. "We do have most of our usual line-up in tact though.”
Jack Duggan was Wattles 2018 Junior Footballer of the Year and his form this year is more than deserving of a run in first grade.
According to the A-grade mentor, "he's been under consideration for some time now and his opportunity has arrived against Dalby” on Saturday. Burns, a former NRL star, has been in polished form of late, the 35 year old's obvious experience organising his side, along with half Matt Duggan -