High hopes for upcoming season as the Red Ants return
Excitement was in the air as Kingaroy’s Red Ants took to the field for the first time since COVID, taking on Across the Waves Bundaberg at last night’s pre-season trial match.
Red Ants captain Martyn McCracken said with a bit more fitness training under their belt after the lengthy break, he’s got high hopes for the season ahead.
The 2020 season was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing players find alternative ways to stay fit and prep for the 2021 season.
“We had a lot of boys who are new to the league field, so it was a good run for those boys with less experience,” McCracken said.
“And for us older boys who haven’t played for 12 months or two years, it was great just to run a bit of soreness out of the legs and get a bit of fitness into the body. I’m happy with the outcome.”
It was a tough game for both sides, with the lead exchanging hands multiple times, but Bundaberg was able to outmatch the Ants in the dying moments of the game.
Bundaberg took out the win 22 to 16.
McCracken said five or six players are brand new to league and another three or four have joined from other clubs or are making a long overdue comeback.
“Combinations are basically starting from scratch this year which is exciting, and trying to do those combinations and trial them in tonight's game was a good start.”
In terms of the upcoming season, McCracken said it’s going to be tough, but it’ll be exciting to see what the new team can do with some hard work under its belt.
While the whole team gave it all on the pitch, Asofono Lemalu, returning to Kingaroy from Dalby this season, was a standout.
“He played more minutes than he should have and was fantastic tonight. He led by example,” McCracken said.