Northern Rivers Ready to Make their Mark

Updated: March 7, 2019
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With half of their 2018 championship-winning side returning, Northern Rivers Titans Under-23’s Coach Max Beecher is excited for the start of the season, as is new Women’s Coach Djaan Jarrett.

In 2018 the Northern Rivers claimed their maiden Men’s Under-23’s Country Championship title since forming the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition in 2005 and in 2019 they will be known as the Northern Rivers Titans, after forming a partnership with the Gold Coast Titans.

Returning Coach Max Beecher says the new partnership has been beneficial for his players and has them ready to take on the Central Coast Roosters at Lismore this Saturday.

“Garth Brennan and his coaching staff came down to train with the team one Saturday and they learnt a lot from it, it was a great experience for them and a good hit out on the day,” Beecher said.

The Northern Rivers side will boast four Country representatives – Zac Beecher, Joseph Besgrove, Michael Dwane and Kyle Kennedy.

Three of these players toured Papua New Guinea last year and played their PNG Digital Cup Representative Team and Beecher believes his players can use their experience to help guide the other players in the squad.

“It’s good because they can tell the other players what to expect and how to prepare well.

“We do have a bit of experience there but we’re expecting a really hard game against Central Coast and the Greater Northern division; we expect both of them to be pretty difficult encounters.”

Beecher is looking forward to seeing new halves combination Kel Sheather and Zac Beecher in action and is expecting Co-Captains Joe Besgrove and Kalani Hensby to step up and lead the team to a finals berth.

“Hopefully we can put in some good performances again and get into the final and see how we go from there.”

Incoming Northern Rivers Women’s Coach Djaan Jarrett says there is a lot of positives to take out of the preseason and their trial against the North Coast Bulldogs last weekend.

“I’ve got no issues with how they’re developing at the moment, I’m really proud of them and where they’re at,” Jarrett said.

“Before the trial game last week, you could see the excitement and everyone had a bit more of a spring in their step knowing there’s a game coming up.

“As they played I think they were blown away with how well they went and I think they did a fantastic job based on the little preparation we had.”

Jarrett has played in Jersey Flegg and the Queensland Cup and has over 10 years of coaching experience in Group 2 and NRRRL; he believes coaching the Northern Rivers Women’s side is a unique opportunity for himself and the team.

“With the rate the women’s game is growing I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for me to pass my knowledge onto them, get them exposure and be part of their development.”

The Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups, Women’s and Men’s Under-23’s matches will take place at Crozier Oval, Lismore on Saturday, 9th March; with the first match kicking-off at 10:30am.

All matches will be live streamed via the CRL Facebook Page.