TAREE City and Wingham to play for Kristylea Bridge Cup

TAREE City and Wingham will play for the Kristylea Bridge Cup when the clubs meet in the Group Three Rugby League game at the Jack Neal Oval on Saturday July 12.

The day will be Taree City's annual fund raiser for Can Assist, a group that provides support and financial assistance for local cancer patients.

Kristylea Bridge is the daughter of Tanya and Gary Bridge of Taree. Her brother, Todd, is a former Bulls player. Kristylea died last December after fighting a rare type of cancer. She was just 27.

Taree City have set aside one game each year for several seasons as a fund raiser for a nominated charity but president Mal Dixon said Can Assist will now be the regular beneficiary.

The Kristylea Bridge Cup will now be played annually between the clubs. Winning team will take home the cup while a perpetual shield will be placed at Bridgey's Sportspower in Taree.

Last year brothers Phil and Matt Adamson made guest appearances for the Bulls in the match against Wingham. Phil is the Taree City coach.

On July 12 former North Sydney, Parramatta and West Tigers centre/five-eighth Michael Buettner will be a guest player. Buettner was scheduled to play in last year's fixture but had to withdraw because of injury.

Aged 41, Buettner's last game in the NRL was back in 2004. No guest player is listed to play for Wingham at this stage.

A full program of events is planned for July 12 including junior rugby league matches. Last year's match, won by the Bulls, was highlighted by the appearance of Clive Palmer and Glenn Lazarus. Palmer was there to support Matt Adamson, who later unsuccessfully stood as a Senate candidate for the Palmer United Party. Lazarus is now a senator-elect.

ABC TV's Australian Story crew was also there, filming for a story on the Manning Alliance. Members of the Alliance were also in the crowd.

Meanwhile Mal Dixon fears the Bulls will now not be able to field teams for the re-scheduled match against Forster-Tuncurry on Saturday July 5.

The game was originally set for last Sunday as were all Group Three games because of North Coast's involvement in the Country championship final in Tamworth on Saturday.

However, the clash was switched to Saturday because of a shortage of referees. Neither club had a player in the North Coast team.

Forster-Tuncurry then indicated they wouldn't have sufficient players for Saturday for varying reasons. The Bulls said the same thing about playing Sunday.

July 5 is a split round and originally the Bulls weren't scheduled to play.

Mr Dixon said because of this a number of players from all the club's grades had booked weekends away.

"We won't have enough players,'' he said.

"And that's in all our grades.''