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Tigers to the Rescue

Tigers to the Rescue

A Whirlwind Week at Tiger Land

As Albury Tigers Club is preparing its players for the start of the O&M season, they were hit with a challenging curve ball when the Melbourne Storm NRL club came calling last week.

The Storm’s opponents Newcastle Knights were reluctant to play their scheduled trial game in Melbourne due to COVID restriction fears, so Storm officials approached the Albury based O&M club, which hosted them as part of a COVID NRL bubble for training last year.

Albury Tigers Vice-President Dom Star says it was a welcome, but frantic week to prepare to host the trial match at the Albury Sports Ground.

“Last Thursday night at 6pm we got the call, and we’d only just dumped about 40 to 50 ton of sand over the ground and were doing our annual refurb before the season starts to get it all Mickey Mouse,” Dom said.

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“Three weeks later there were NRL posts on the ground. It’s been a whirlwind of a week that’s for sure. We’ve got an amazing grounds keeper who’s very good and dedicated to what he does, so a huge shout out to Troy Shepherd.”

Another challenge in preparing for the last-minute match surrounding developing a COVID plan.

“The Storm have been amazing to help get everything up and running to ensure we’re COVID safe,” Dom said.

“Ticketing is another thing. We couldn’t really move on the ticketing until the COVID plan got approved. Tickets went on sale on Wednesday and they’ve been snapped up pretty quickly.

“From a club perspective, we’ve had to organise volunteers and people power to make everything work – we’re lucky to have so many hard working volunteers which has made the event achievable in such a short period of time.”

The club is hopeful local businesses will benefit from the high profile clash and influx of fans.

“It’s great to get so many people in the region and hopefully they’ll spill out into the pubs and restaurants after the game.”

A reminder the event is fully ticketed – with no walk up entries permitted.

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