REPLAY: Gold Coast Rugby Union- Alleygators vs Nerang Bulls
THE Palm Beach Currumbin Alleygators are daring to dream of a 2020 Gold Coast District Rugby Union finals berth just months after their club hit rock-bottom.
In early 2019, the club was forced to withdraw from the first-grade competition due to diminished playing stocks, risking the safety of players.
But the Gators 2020 return has been nothing less than triumphant, shocking the rugby community with five wins in their opening six matches to find themselves on the cusp of finals.
Despite somehow rising once more from the depths of despair, Palm Beach Currumbin Alleygators rugby manager Michael Bell said anything less than finals would be a "disappointing" end to the Gators' miraculous recovery.
"We're pleased with where we're at but we're also disappointed with where we're at," he said.
"If you'd have asked us at the start of the year, where do you want to finish, we would have said we just wanted to be competitive.
"At this stage of the season, we'd be disappointed not to make finals.
"There's a good buzz around the club.
"We wanted the challenge of stepping up to first grade and we're relishing that and we think we're building positively for 2021 and 22."
The club's next quest comes in the form of the Nerang Bulls who currently sit second on the first-grade table, three spots above the Alleygators.
The Gators have already conquered the Bulls earlier this year, but injuries have since taken their toll and the club has been forced to name two forward debutants - Simon Livingstone and Raymond Holani.
Bell said the match could be season-defining.
"We see it as a massive game in our quest to make finals," he said.
"We need to win.
"We're under no illusions that the challenge ahead of us is big but we've got belief in our ability.
"No one expected us to win five of our first six and we're not too far from third place."
The match is the Bulletin's match of the round and will be live-streamed from 3:15pm on Saturday.
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