Charity Shield: big weekend of league as Kurri and Cessnock square off

READY TO RIP: Cessnock coach Todd Edwards with new recruits, brothers Gerome (left) and Denzel Burns.
READY TO RIP: Cessnock coach Todd Edwards with new recruits, brothers Gerome (left) and Denzel Burns.

It's rugby league action from 8am (under 6s) and into the night when arch rivals Cessnock and Kurri Kurri first grade clash in the Charity Shield at Kurri Sportsground on Saturday.

The Shield clash is always hotly contested but especially so after last year's event was cancelled, and with both sides looking for a tough final hit-out before the competition kicks off.

Cessnock, who go in as Shield holders, will have new recruits Gerome and Denzel Burns in action after their outstanding first up efforts against Macquarie in last weekend's trial.

"They're quicker than my car," Goannas secretary Cherie Douglas said.

The Bulldogs too have a number of new faces including the long-awaited home ground debut of former Sydney Rooster Frank Paul Nuuausala.

And to add some spice to the occasion - as if a Kurri and Cessnock match needs added spice - Tyler Randall will play at halfback for Kurri after his off-season split from the Goannas.

There is some doubt about Nathan Ross however with injury - he is considered a "maybe" at this stage - although Jared Anderson will definitely play.

Tyler Randall, a key recruit for the Bulldogs.

Tyler Randall, a key recruit for the Bulldogs.

Cessnock coach Todd Edwards was very pleased with his four tries-all trial with Macquarie last weekend. And start recruits Gerome and Denzel Burns were both superb.

"It's obvious already that Gerome is highly skilled ... a quality halfback," Edwards said. "And Denzel scored a try last weekend you had to see ... he beat six blokes from a standing start 40 metres out. Very quick, very dangerous."

For the Bulldogs, Mick Alchin said the club had had two tough trials and were very happy with their side's progress. "We've played Souths and Toukley, really good hit-outs. The whole day is for charity, so our club looks forward to it every year. Just tell the people to buy some raffle tickets, will you."

First grade starts at 7.50pm