Powell gears up for his century for Manunda Hawks

LUKE Powell has tormented opposition ruckmen ever since he joined Manunda in 2006, but last weekend he copped a bit of his own medicine.

The burly Tasmanian confessed he was a little roughed up by his Stockmen rivals in Cairns’ big loss to the combined representative side.

"I think around the ground I had him covered, but he knew how to jump against me, use his body," he said.

"Rucking does take it's toll. I certainly felt it on the weekend, but in saying that I've always been pretty lucky with injuries."

And because of that resilience the 26-year-old will celebrate a century of games with the Hawks against Port Douglas this weekend.

Now co-captain of the side, Powell said he was most proud with the club's junior development.

"We're doing it at the moment and we've also watched guys like Sam Michael (Brisbane Lions rookie list) and Jermaine Wardle (Queensland under-18) progress," he said.

"Watching Jermaine reminded me of watching (West Coast star Nic) Naitanui at a younger age, with his freakish athleticism and hopefully he can go on to do things like Nic does now."

Powell prefers to let his on-field actions do the talking, but he was not afraid to back his side's premiership chances despite Saints being red-hot favourites this year.

"They are just flying at the moment and I guess their dominance is disappointing to see, because you want to see an even competition," he said.

"But we are great rivals; we’ve won three premierships each since I've been here. I think if we can make a final anything can happen. You saw that last year."

Before they worry about another title, the club's initial focus is Port Douglas tomorrow at Cazalys.

With just two wins from nine starts this year, the Crocs sit second last on the ladder.

"But we're wary," Powell said.

"They've got some good recruits. It's always hard for them with their massive turnover. But we need to make sure they don't jump us again."

In that round four encounter, Port gave up a 34-point half-time lead to lose by 28.




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