Homecoming for key Tiger
Rugby League: Fresh from captaining his Australian Universities side to a third-straight World Cup, Chris Ostwald will return to his old stomping ground when the Easts Tigers take on Norths Devils in Mundubbera on Sunday.
The Gayndah-born Ostwald, who played a significant portion of his junior football with the Kingaroy Red Ants, was instrumental for the Aussies on their way to a record sixth World Cup crown.
The reigning Easts Tigers rookie of the year will now turn his attention to Sunday's crucial clash with the Devils, as Easts eye a top-four finish in the Intrust Super Cup.
"It was a great experience even playing in a World Cup let alone winning one,” Ostwald said.
"I haven't played back home for years now, and it's something I've always wanted to do.
"I hope that playing up there in front of my home crowd and friends and family they can get behind us and hopefully get a win.”
The sides last met in round 10, where the Devils upset the more fancied Tigers on their home turf in a thrilling 36-32 contest.
Easts have since firmed as one of the premiership fancies and are on a four-game winning run, while the Devils now languish in 10th and appear unlikely to make noise come finals time.
Ostwald has been utilised mostly off the bench by coach Scott Sipple this season, with the hooker missing the Tigers' previous two matches while away on national duties.
"My role in the team is pretty simple, just to come off the bench in short periods and swing the momentum of the game into our hands,” Ostwald said.
"The Devils are always a hard team to play, they have so many good key position players. You know it'll be a hard game, they have some big blokes through the middle and some smart outside backs, they're a really hard team to defend against.”
"We're sitting pretty well at the moment, we've beaten every side in the competition bar-PNG so hopefully we can continue our form into the finals.”
As part of the Intrust Super Cup's 'Get in the Game' Country Week initiative, Mundubbera is one of six regional towns set to host State League action this weekend.
Ostwald said initiatives like Country Week are important for towns such as Mundubbera, who otherwise can feel forgotten in the grand scheme of things.
"A lot of the time in the country areas you feel forgotten,” Ostwald said.
"These games allow us to give back, and shows there's a pathway for younger players. To see a player from their own ranks has gone on to play in these kinds of teams.”