READY FOR BATTLE: The South Burnett Saints will host the Goondiwindi Hawks on Saturday.
READY FOR BATTLE: The South Burnett Saints will host the Goondiwindi Hawks on Saturday. Reanna Fenton

Saints to face country rivals in opening round

IT WILL be the clash of the country clubs when the South Burnett Saints host the Goondiwindi Hawks for the opening round of the AFL Darling Downs season on Saturday.

While the Saints come into the game following a strong practice match win over Toowoomba Tigers at Fernvale coach Clinton Brown is under no illusions about this week's challenge.

"Our form last week was certainly encouraging, but it's a different situation altogether this week with premiership points at stake,” he said.

The Hawks who have featured in three of the past four grand finals have recruited well for 2019 to have the highest number of registered players in the competition.

"They are a club we really respect and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them,” Brown said.

Supporters at Lyle Vidler Oval should expect a hard fought contest from first bounce at 1pm, according to Saints president Andrew Foley.

"The Saints' semi-final against the Hawks at Vidler Oval in 2017 is still fresh in my mind. I rate it as the best game of Darling Downs football I've seen, with the biggest crowd we've had in Kingaroy,” Foley said.

"While we didn't get the victory that day it showed what a great spectacle these two country teams can put on when they play their best footy.

"I think anyone looking for some free sporting entertainment on Saturday should look no further than Lyle Vidler Oval”.

South Burnett

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