BIRIPI Taree South will look to consolidate on a promising start to the season when the second round of the East Coast Tribal Rugby League competition is played at the Jack Neal Oval on Saturday, February 5.
The Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr nations are represented in the 12 week season which is being played for the first time.
Saturday will showcase a full day of football, with matches underway from 10am. Men's women's and under 17 girls divisions will be played. Each side can have up to eight non-Indigenous players.
Biripi men's coach Shane Glass said his side had a win and a loss from the opening round played at Smithtown last Saturday.
"We went pretty well for our first run,'' Glass said.
He said Jake Wheeler didn't stop trying while Jai Simon, Nathan Maher and newcomer Will Marr from the Armidale area also impressed.
The versatile Marr alternated between centre and fullback.
"We were a bit short of players in the backs,'' Glass explained.
He said he has a squad of 30, although only 25 can play on game day.
"But we need 30 to cover for injuries or players out through COVID,'' Glass added.
The team trains Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so as not to interfere with commitments with their Group Three clubs.
"It gives the players a chance to get some pre-season fitness in to get ready for the Group Three competition,'' Glass added.
The Biripi women, coached by Richard Donovan, lost both their matches but according to Glass luck wasn't on their side. He expects they'll improve as the season progresses.
The 17s, coached by Maree Ferguson, have their first game this weekend.
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Organiser, Dave Fernando from Kempsey hopes the competition will become an annual pre-season event. It will also give teams the opportunity to prepare for the State knockout played in October.
"We're not trying to step on the toes of Group Three or Group Two,'' he said.
"This is just something to get our people active and doing something positive. That's what we're aiming to do.''
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