ROUND ONE READY: (left to right) MDRL A-Grade players: Basil Martin (Carltons), Shaun Edwards (Brothers), Jake Eden (Wests), Tyson Martin (Magpies) and Schae Mawer (Souths).
ROUND ONE READY: (left to right) MDRL A-Grade players: Basil Martin (Carltons), Shaun Edwards (Brothers), Jake Eden (Wests), Tyson Martin (Magpies) and Schae Mawer (Souths). Aidan Cureton

Big stakes for short and sweet MDRL season

ITCHING to get back onto the field was a common phrase thrown around by five teams ahead of the Mackay and District Rugby League opening round.

After a longer than usual break, rugby league is back in Mackay this weekend and all teams are staking their claims for a premiership.

After ending a 36-year premiership drought, last year's premiers Wests Tigers have no intentions of letting their foot off the gas according to hooker Jake Eden.

"To go back to back would be massive,” he said.

While a few names have changed, Eden said his team can be just as dominant as last year.

"Everyone is out there to do a job and hopefully get another premiership,” he said.

Mackay's founding clubs; Magpies, Brothers and Carltons are all celebrating their centenary in the MDRL. Each hopes to commemorate the occasion with some silverware.

Brothers and Magpies had a taste of finals footy last season, but failed to go the distance.

Brothers were axed in the first round of finals after a magic comeback from Magpies.

Magpies later fell to Moranbah Miners in the preliminary final.

"There's a lot of pride in the club, we just need to start putting words into action,” Magpies back rower Tyson Martin said.

Carlton, who were then Norths Devils, took the wooden spoon. They hope redemption comes with the name change.

Souths Sharks' new recruit Mawer looked forward to the shorter 14-round season.

"It's exciting. You can't lose to many games,” he said.

See Saturday's Daily Mercury for more MDRL coverage



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