Harry’s homecoming spoiled by injury
IN WHAT should have been the homecoming of all homecomings, injury forced Dalby native Harry Hoopert to watch his team from the sideline.
Since the announcement of the pre-season match between the Queensland Reds and the New South Wales Waratahs, all eyes have been on Hoopert as he returned to his old stomping grounds.
Unfortunately for both Hoopert and Dalby they will have to wait a little while longer before another chance at a reunion.
"I have been dealing with a few little lingering things over the Christmas break, the main being a bit of pain around my facet joint" Hoopert stated
"But thankfully enough I have been approved to start training with contact so hopefully I can be back for next week"
While Hoopert was devastated to miss getting out onto his old stomping ground, he has spent the time accordingly catching up with family and friends.
"I keep seeing a face everywhere I turn" Hoopert laughed
"It's been really good to see everyone and I hope everyone has enjoyed themselves"
Throughout the week, the Reds travelled Condamine and Chinchilla for junior clinics, Hoopert praised the hospitality the community has shown.
"The Condamine pub were really welcoming and went above and beyond for us.
It's really great that we were able to put a smile on their faces with everything they have all been dealing with.
The boys along with myself wanted to put on a show, I know a game won't fix the problem but if we have let them unwind and enjoy themselves for a few hours, we have done our job"
With a solid win under their belt Hoopert is optimistic for the season ahead.
"I think the first half showed were we need to improve, we made some silly mistakes early on but we came out strong in the second half to come off 7 all at halftime and then come out and score two trys off the back of that, was a great effort from the boys.
The win tonight will give us some confidence going into next week"
The Reds snapped an 11 game losing streak against the Waratahs in front of 1500 faithfuls with Reds coach, Brad Thorn praising the game play from both sides.
"The calibre of play was different this week from the Waratahs, which helped the flow of the game.
It was a good opportunity to see some skills on display and some opportunities to work hard in defence"
The field erupted when the Reds came out after half time and scored two back to back trys with captain Liam Wright breaking the game open.
The Reds defeated Waratahs 28-19 and will begin their season against the Brumbies in Canberra next Friday while the Waratahs travel to New Zealand to play defending champions the Crusaders.