Yamba Buccaneers players (l-r) Sam Zuill, Timoci Senimaoli and Robbie Hill model the 2018 jerseys. Image: Contributed

Yamba Buccaneers in pre-season challenge match

There is no better way to spend St Patrick’s Day this Saturday than by joining the Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers at their inaugural Pre-season Challenge at Kane Douglas Rugby Field. Featuring the Buccaneers, Grafton Redmen, Glen Innes Elks and Redcliffe Demons at the first incantation of the pre-season tournament, Saturday presents a rugby feast in the lead-up to the Far North Coast Rugby Union season kicking-off in April. With the day also featuring the Yamba Junior Buccaneers in two internal trial games, the day will provide fun for all rugby lovers. Yamba Buccaneers Club President Adrian Miller said the tournament was an exciting way to start the season. “This will be a great day of rugby for all clubs,” he said. “The round robin format will give each team three solid hit outs and is a good way for each team to get maximum benefits from minimum time. It can be hard to get multiple trial games during a pre-season so to get three games in one day is perfect.” Miller said the Buccaneers hoped to turn the Pre-season Challenge into an annual tournament. “The feedback has been really positive so far and we think it has real merit in being held annually, but we’ll focus on turning Saturday’s tournament into a great event before we start worrying too much about next year,” he said. The club has had a successful off-season, signing a host of new sponsors and Miller said the club was thankful for the support. “The Pacific Hotel, Ray White Yamba, Treelands Yard Care and Korb Roof Plumbing have signed on again as sponsors and we are very happy for their support again,” he said. “We are also welcoming Coastal Concrete and Excavation, Mitre 10 Yamba, Chesterfield Australia and Happy Smiles Dental to the Buccaneers family which is fantastic. “Without our sponsors we couldn’t put players on the field, so having them on board is great.” Miller said the club was in a strong position overall, with a boost in both senior and junior numbers ahead of the 2018 season. “We’ve been getting good numbers to senior training and we will field at least Under 11s and Under 13s in the juniors, so things are looking very positive,” he said. “We are also looking at having an Under 8s team which will play in Yamba each Friday night, so there are a range of options for kids interested in playing rugby. People can contact us through Facebook if they want to play, so look us up.” The club will also be sporting a new look this season, with a new playing strip re-living the club’s retro vibe. “The new strip is based on a version we first wore quite a few years ago and we’re excited to debut it once the season starts,” Miller said. The Yamba Buccaneers Pre-season Challenge runs from 12pm – 5pm on Saturday, 17 March. The first game features Yamba vs Grafton, with the last game between Yamba and Redcliffe kicking off at 4:20pm. A presentation will be held at the Pacific Hotel from 6pm. More details are on the club’s Facebook page at ‘Yamba Buccaneers Rugby Club’