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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Real NRL: Seagulls ready to take flight

It will be a case of “take two” for the Lakes United Seagulls in the Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) this weekend.

The NSWRL Denton Cup outfit had its opening round clash with the Western Suburbs Rosellas postponed, due to the weather, along with the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs and Maitland Pickers encounter.

Now, reset after a seven-day break, the Seagulls are finally expected to take flight when they meet The Entrance Tigers at EDSACC Oval on Good Friday (2 April).

“It was a bit disappointing [not playing],” Lakes United secretary Grant Thompson-Laing said.

“The boys were fired up for the first game.

“But, it is what it is.

“We’re definitely ready to go this week.

“Playing on [Good Friday] suits us, too – it’s something new.”

The Seagulls’ upcoming opponents, on the other hand, not only managed to get onto the field but defeated the Macquarie Scorpions 22-12 in their Real NRL debut.

“With the Tigers beating Macquarie, we know they’ll be strong,” Thompson-Laing said.

“They and the Wyong Roos have added an element to the comp in 2021.

“It’ll be tough, no doubt about it.

“Luckily, we haven’t had too many interruptions in the lead-up, apart from a couple in injuries in the trials.

“However, that happens to all clubs.”

The Seagulls will also rely heavily on a pool of talented youngsters this year, which should hold Lakes United in good stead moving forward, according to Thompson-Laing.

“We’re fielding a very young side,” he said.

“We’ve got a few under-19s coming through from last season and the one before that.

“So, we are sticking with our youth policy – in fact, it’s Lakes United’s philosophy.

“It’s important to create a pathway for our juniors.

“We don’t have one ex-NRL player in the squad.

“We’re fortunate to boast a strong junior base, with affiliate clubs from the under-16s, such as Valentine and Belmont, who then link with the seniors.

“With the youth coming through, 2021 is another development year for us.

“Plus, it’s Robbie Payne’s first season as coach – and a learning curve for him.

“But, making the semis is still our first goal.”

The Cessnock Goannas kick-off the Easter fixtures, hosting the Rosellas at the Cessnock Sportsground from 6.45pm on Thursday 1 April.

Tomorrow, Friday 2 April, sees the Bulldogs locking horns with the Central Coast Butcher Boys at the Kurri Kurri Sportsground at 3pm.

Then, on Saturday 3 April from 3pm, the Wyong Roos face the Pickers at Morry Breen Oval while the South Newcastle Lions tackle the Scorpions at Townson Oval.

2021 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League

Round one results:

NSWRL Denton Cup

Cessnock Goannas d South Newcastle Lions 34-16

Wyong Roos d Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 18-16

The Entrance Tigers d Macquarie Scorpions 22-12

Lakes United Seagulls v Western Suburbs Rosellas postponed

Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Maitland Pickers postponed

Reserve grade

Cessnock Goannas d South Newcastle Lions 26-24

Northern Hawks drew with Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 22-all

Lakes United Seagulls v Western Suburbs Rosellas postponed

Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Maitland Pickers postponed


South Newcastle Lions d Cessnock Goannas 19-12

Northern Hawks d Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 20-16

Lakes United Seagulls v Western Suburbs Rosellas postponed

Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Maitland Pickers postponed

Round two draw:

NSWRL Denton Cup

  • Thursday 1 April

6.45pm: Cessnock Goannas v Western Suburbs Rosellas at Cessnock Sportsground

  • Friday 2 April

3pm: The Entrance Tigers v Lakes United Seagulls at EDSACC Oval

3pm: Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Central Newcastle Butcher Boys at Kurri Kurri Sportsground

  • Saturday 3 April

3pm: Wyong Roos v Maitland Pickers at Morry Breen Oval

3pm: South Newcastle Lions v Macquarie Scorpions at Townson Oval

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