Speed and power.
That’s the combination coach Matt Lantry will be looking for from the NSWRL Pioneers when they face the Queensland Rangers at Davies Park, Brisbane, on Sunday 30 June.
The Pioneers team was selected on the back of a representative match in May between a Ron Massey Cup team and the Newcastle Rebels.
The match will be live streamed on nswrl.com.au with kick-off scheduled for 11.40pm.
Lantry told nswrl.com.au that both teams had taken something away from their clash in May and realised they could form a competitive outfit when they came together.
“We spoke about what both teams brought to the party and on Wednesday night we had our first session,” Lantry said.
“The one thing (assistant coach) Jared (Farlow) made mention about the Newcastle guys was how physical we played and the Massey Cup boys taking a bit away with regards to the physicality that we played with.
“The one thing the Newcastle guys took away from the Sydney guys was the speed they played with so you bring those two things together and you can have a potent footy team if you can get both right.”
The Pioneers will be looking to turn the tables on the Rangers after they were beaten 46-16 in the corresponding match last season.
The team includes eight players from Wests Newcastle which Lantry also coaches. The Pioneers coaching appointment went to the winning coach from the Rebels vs Ron Massey Cup game.
“I think this concept is absolutely tremendous,” Lantry said.
For these guys here, who are basically amateur footballers, to have an opportunity to come in and represent their competitions first and foremost, their state, and to be exposed to the Centre of Excellence is a wonderful opportunity.
“The first night the players got together you could see that they were going to come together quickly as a group. The guys tried their jerseys on last night, and even the small touches of having their surname on the back of the jersey, you could what it meant to them to represent NSW.
“I’m sure they’re going to go and do themselves and their families proud and it would be nice to turn the tables.”