Kick a goal for charity
WARWICK Water Rats co-coach Ryan Smith kicked three from three at training on Thursday but reckons he will be nervous as he prepares to walk on to Suncorp Stadium tomorrow to kick a penalty goal to boost the Rugby Relief Fund by $1000.
Volvo is sponsoring the half-time fundraiser aimed at providing $10,000 to help flood-hit regional rugby clubs. Ten kickers from regions around Queensland will kick for penalty goal from in front of the posts.
Each successful attempt will see $1000 cash flow into the Rugby Relief Fund. The kicking is part of the entertainment as the Super 15 players from Queensland Reds and Western Force have their half-time break in the game which starts at 4.40pm.
Smith said it made him more nervous when there was money for flood relief on the line.
He is set to kick in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium, a far cry from his previous biggest crowd when he played for Warwick in an under-19 grand final which the Water Rats won seven years ago in Toowoomba.
Smith has always kicked in training as a back-up for Mitchell Lamb in both A-grade and the under-19 side but rarely is the team kicker.
“I learnt to kick a ball playing soccer and I enjoy going for goal,” Smith said.
Smith is a Queensland Reds supporter and reckons they will finish in the top four this season.
“It is good for Darling Downs rugby to see (former Allora prop) Greg Holmes in the squad,” Smith said.
“He must be performing at training as (coach Ewen) McKenzie has him in the 22. It is pleasing to see Greg has regrouped from recent injuries.”
Reds players are also doing what they can to support the Queensland Rugby Relief effort. Many have volunteered to assist with “adopt a club” where communities are being urged to nominate a club to support their rebuilding efforts.
Holmes and fellow Reds prop Guy Shepherdson have adopted the Warwick club in the flood recovery phase.
St George Reds’ team-wear sponsor Kooga has produced a special Queensland Rugby Relief jersey for every player. Impacted rugby clubs will receive a jersey worn in the opening clash to auction off with funds raised going back into their own club.
High hopes for season
AS co-coach of the Water Rats A-grade side with Shane Hooper, Smith is upbeat about the season.
“The best aspect of the pre-season is training with the AFL boys,” Smith said.
“They are helping us with our kicking. The way our props are kicking in training, they might have a go in a game. There are no set rules, if the kick is on, I don’t mind them having a go.”
Warwick has a trial game against Beenleigh Bears on March 19 at Risdon Oval.
A special training day is on March 26 from 10am to 3pm followed by a barbecue for players, families and club members at which the $10,000 Water Rats Art Union will be launched.