Noosa Tigers share experience

Pirates’ player/coach and former NRL star Noel Goldthorpe knows about as much about AFL as that game’s fallen former superstar Wayne Carey knows about monogamy.

So the fact that the Noosa league stalwart last night put the Noosa Tigers Australian rules side through its paces could, like Carey’s off-field antics, raise a few eyebrows. But Tigers coach Wayne Fletcher saw nothing but positives to come out of Goldthorpe, running a combined training session of Tigers and Pirates at Pirate Park in Tewantin.

The Tigers have gotten off to a flying start in the Pineapple Hotel Cup competition and are shaping to challenge defending premiers Palm Beach for the crown.

But all good coaches look to continually improve the skills of their players and that is the reason Fletcher called his league counterpart out of the blue.

“I think he would be able to show our players how to improve our defence – league is known for its hard tackling,” Fletcher said.

“The Sydney Swans have done a fair amount of work with the rugby league coaches and their defence is one of the best in the (AFL) comp.

“Plus I think it is just good for the two clubs to get together – we are both representing Noosa so we will have a barbecue afterwards and I’ll be able to reciprocate later in the season with a coaching session if they want.”

Goldthorpe jumped at the chance to get involved in the cross-code meeting of minds and skills, even though he has never played any Aussie rules and confessed to being ignorant of its workings.

“It was something I had thought of doing in the preseason,” Goldthorpe said.

“When I played with St George we used to get together with the Swans for some football cross-fertilisation.”

Goldthorpe said the Tigers can take whatever defensive skills he can impart and then modify them to their needs.

He believes some of his kickers could do with some tips on AFL-style pin-point ball placement. The Pirates will feature in the match of the fourth round of the Sunshine Coast Gympie League when they take on the Sharks at Caloundra on Sunday.

Noosa got back into the winners circle last weekend with a tough 18-14 victory over Gympie. As for the Tigers, they are still getting over the disappointment of torrential rain on the Gold Coast forcing the postponement of their match up with Burleigh. They will be ready to release their new tackling technique against Aspley in next weekend’s away match.

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