Students all set for a Matt attack
SOUTHERN Cross University has size and experience with Matt Murray and Matt Anderson returning against Lennox Head in Far North Coast rugby union tomorrow.
Coach Harry Witt has made a surprise selection in naming Murray at five-eighth but he could easily end up back at No8 by the time the game kicks off at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head.
Anderson is usually a halfback - where Witt played his first game of the season last week - but Witt said he could play him in the forwards.
"Matt (Murray) is a bigger guy and is coming back from a few-weeks holiday in the US so he'll be a couple kilograms heavier again,” Witt said.
"We want to run the ball from there for multiple phases and having a big ball runner like him will help us.
"Whoever the opposition five-eighth is will have to do well to tackle him.”
Witt might pull the boots back on today against the club he won multiple premierships with from 2008 to 2012.
He has named former Lennox Head teammate Lachlan Stace in his front-row and has called out the young Trojans side for tactics they used in their first meeting this season.
"I just hope they play a fairer game and leave the cheap shots and niggle out of it,” Witt said.
"It looks like dirty tactics have come into their club this season and it was frustrating to watch them get away with it last time.
"We're a young side too and we're confident but we don't play like that.”
The Gold Rats have won three times this season, having not won any games in 2018.
They led 13-7 against Lennox Head last time before going down 33-18 and also had a 19-12 lead against Ballina last weekend before going down 51-19.
"We don't have a great deal of depth but when we get our 15 out there we're always competitive,” Witt said.
"I don't have many fresh players to bring into games in the second half but we need to be better there.
"It's fitness and inexperience, the boys aren't just content to lead in games any more.
"After Ballina last weekend they were really deflated with the finish.
"But to me that's good because at least they know they can be better.”
In other games today:
Casino play Byron Bay in a crunch match for both clubs at Albert Park, Casino.
Lismore will host the Ballina Seahorses at Lismore Rugby Park.
Bangalow tackle Casuarina at Schultz Oval, Bangalow.
Wollongbar-Alstonville travel to take on the Grafton Redmen.
Lennox Head: 1 Angus Langfield, 2 Brad McGoulrick, 3 John Clark, 4 Kurt Orlanno, 5 Jacob Carter, 6 Harry Bungate, 7 Hayden Blair (c), 8 Callum Jones, 9 Abe Goldsmith, 10 Billy Goldsmith, 11 Martin McNamara, 12 Matthew Bermingham, 13 Callum S Jones, 14 Rhys Tatum, 15 Sam Fitzgerald. Coach: Rob Fish.
SCU: 1 Lachlan Stace, 2 Isaac Penfold, 3 Kirk Taylor-Brown, 4 Colin Pursche, 5 Morgan Tickler, 6 Riley Spencer, 7 Peter Murphy, 8 Ben Prozinski, 9 Will Hawkins, 10 Matt Murray, 11 Rhys Harrison, 12 Josh Wilson, 13 Matt McMullen, 14 Pat Dawson, 15 Michael McMullen. Coach: Harry Witt.
Referee: Dylan Harris.
Casino: 1 Blake Birmingham, 2 Ben Collison, 3 Scott Kenny, 4 Callum McLennan, 5 Marcus Cusack, 6 Josef Lalabalavu, 7 Elliott Birmingham, 8 Ratu Vio Batibasaga, 9 Stephen Murchie (c), 10 Nick Armstrong, 11 Korey Bennett, 12 Sililo Stavenow, 13 Harrison Cusack, 14 Joseph Murphy, 15 Wilson Lovokuro. Coach: Doug Murray.
Byron Bay: 1 Jordan Elliott, 2 Dan Morgan, 3 Duane Pakai, 4 Ed Randall, 5 James Atkins, 6 Cooper Lau, 7 Ben Wood, 8 Courtney Raymond, 9 Tom Brooks, 10 Pete Gillespie, 11 Erik Rademacher , 12 Owain Roberts, 13 Romey Vassell, 14 Mark Howard, 15 Jascha Saeck (c). Coach: Jeff Watt.
Referee: Matt Clayton.
Lismore: 1 Gavin Tulk, 2 Cameron Bryant, 3 Ben Carroll, 4 Dylan Tulk, 5 Jathan Von Bratt, 6 To be advised, 7 Brenden Williams (c), 8 James Grubb, 9 Jack Everingham, 10 William Fair- weather, 11 Sam Nilon, 12 Jake Lennon, 13 Marcus Hannaway, 14 To be advised, 15 Andrew Sky. Coach: Ray Taylor.
Ballina: 1 Isaac Pratten, 2 Hayden Warneke, 3 Marcus Lees, 4 Kye Cribb, 5 Jakob O'Connor, 6 Brad Brown (c), 7 Luke Kliese, 8 Stan Lolohea, 9 Nick Watson, 10 Beau Clarke, 11 Rhyen Kennedy, 12 Seamus Reen, 13 Tupou Lolohea, 14 Cody Campbell, 15 Joe Jansson. Coach: Chris Hickey.
Referee: Will Palmer.
Bangalow: 1 Aniri Whewell, 2 Sean Petrou, 3 Otty Fifita, 4 Rob Wrightman, 5 Jock Craigie, 6 Josh Johns, 7 John Turagabeci, 8 Jack Bensley, 9 Tim Cohen, 10 Ben Farrow, 11 Jack Rixon, 12 Kye Spence, 13 Adam Brien, 14 Will Warren, 15 Dan Hill. Coach: Tim Cohen.
Casuarina Beach: 1 Bruce Somerville, 2 Daniel Heritage, 3 Robert Beacroft, 4 Trent Ryan, 5 Elisio Tagidrau, 6 Matt Worland, 7 Henry Bradford, 8 Mitch Planten, 9 Webb Lillis, 10 Rian Olivier, 11 Michael Coates, 12 Hiroshi Takeyama, 13 Richard White, 14 Luke Gyory, 15 Graham Dodge. Coach: Mick Hall.
Referee: Graham Cook.
Grafton: 1 Jack Anderson, 2 Zac Mason-Gale, 3 Dan Blackman, 4 Nick Collie, 5 Rhys Nelson, 6 Billy Whalan, 7 Tom Tanner, 8 Adam Thompson, 9 Darcy Crispin, 10 Adam Smidt, 11 Adam Crawley, 12 Luke Worthing, 13 Dwayne Duke, 14 James Fairweather, 15 Keaton Ingram. Coach: Craig Howe.
Wollongbar-Alstonville: 1 Benji Tiatia, 2 Bill Johnston, 3 Brandon Whitney, 4 Matt Scott, 5 Josh Galbraith, 6 Austin Markwort, 7 Justyn Keir, 8 Lloyd Morgan, 9 Louis Hollman, 10 Ben Damen (c), 11 Josh Damen, 12 Nat Regueira, 13 Daniel Damen, 14 James Vidler, 15 Sam Kerry. Coach: Paul Jeffery.
Referee: Peter Campbell.