Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Skinny Kid Is Fighting Fit

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Skinny Kid Is Fighting Fit

Article excerpt

Byline: MITCHELL CRAIG Sports reporter

TWO years ago Wollongbar-Alstonville second-rower James Gardiner was a skinny under-19s player who had just broken his leg.

Gardiner missed the entire 2012 season but returned this year to make his first grade debut in the first round.

He has been one of their best this season with Wollongbar now in second place on the competition ladder.

"James had the year off and decided to hit the gym pretty hard," Pioneers coach Ben Grayndler said.

"I didn't know too much about him but he's stood out in our forward pack this season.

"I really only remembered him as the skinny kid who broke his leg in under-19s."

The Pioneers 32-22 win against Grafton at the weekend put them second on the ladder; the highest they have been this season.

It sets up a top-of-the-table clash against Lismore City at Lyle Park, Wollongbar on Saturday.

City is the team to beat this season with their only loss this season against Ballina in May. …

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