Black eyes, broken nose fail to stop Ipswich sportsman
HOCKEY: Even with two black eyes and a crooked nose, Steve Rogers was never going to miss his chance to represent Ipswich at this weekend's Queensland Masters Championships on home turf.
Having umpired for a number of years at previous Super League tournaments staged at the same time, Rogers was unable to join many of his long-time club teammates at masters level.
Needing a trip to hospital last Saturday night, Rogers was briefly concerned about retaining his place in Ipswich's number one over-40's side for the championships starting on Friday night at Raceview.
However, any doubts were quickly dismissed as he got checked out and had some repairs to his broken nose. He was hurt during a collision playing for Wests against Easts in the Reserve Grade match.
"I'm right to go definitely,'' Rogers said about lining up for Ipswich this weekend.
Rogers was one of Norths' leading A-Grade strikers for many years, in club and Ipswich teams with players like Tony Ross, Pat Jordan, Lindsay Marsh, Stu Darby and Dean Boughen.
Ross is the current Ipswich over-40's captain.
"We've all played together at that top level so it's quite good,'' Rogers said.
"There's no pressure and we're just going to have fun and see what happens.''
However, Rogers said the Ipswich number one side had anything but a leisurely preparation.
With World Cup masters silver medallist Sam Spry coaching Ipswich's over-40 and over-50 teams this weekend, Rogers said the players endured eight weeks of training.
"She has been really good,'' Rogers said of the former Ipswich regional coaching director.
After watching Ipswich finish in the top two at state titles the past few years, Spry was confident this year's over-40's number one line-up will be in the finals' mix.
"I certainly believe they have the opportunity to go all the way,'' she said. "They are a really good blended team and they've worked really hard through training.
"It's nice to have the likes of Steve Rogers back playing representative hockey again too . . . and all those guys together.''
Spry's husband Adam will be playing in Ipswich's number one side this weekend. He'll also make regular trips to Brisbane to assist South West Queensland Lumberjacks head coach Ken McCoombes at the Super League titles.
Like Adam, Sam said the draw was favourable in allowing her to also be involved with two teams.
"They actually don't cross over at any point in time so as soon as one game finishes, I'll wander down to the next dugout,'' she said.
Sam and Adam's son Tyler will be playing for the Lumberjacks over the Labour Day long weekend. The Ipswich couple's daughter Ashley has been called into the Northern Storm team for the Super League titles, the eighth time the major representative series has been staged at the State Hockey Centre.
Lumberjacks head coach McCoombes also has an added family reason to enjoy the weekend ahead. The proud dad's sons Zac and Caleb are both in the Lumberjacks side.
"I haven't seen them play together for a long time,'' he said.
Zac was recently part of the Queensland under-18 team that shared in national title glory. He's soon off to Europe with the Australian under-16 team.
The coach was happy with his team's recent preparation after some early disruptions.
"Only the last two weeks has been really good with the sessions,'' McCoombes said. "Before that was more trials and trying to get guys to the sessions.
"They clashed a lot with a lot of representative stuff recently and club stuff.
"The guys are now committed and put in a really good effort. It's looking pretty good.
"It's up to them now really.''
The South West Lumberjacks made last year's grand final, losing 4-2 to Brisbane Fury.
"I'd expect to do well again this year,'' McCoombes said.
"There's not one weak team so depending how we play and how we pull it together on the weekend, you come first, second or you come last. Things are that tight.''
The tournament at Colmslie features Queensland's top 100 hockey players representing their zones.
Brisbane has won the men's competition for the past three years. South Coast Sharks are defending women's titleholders.
Queensland Masters Championships in Ipswich this weekend.
Ipswich-40 number one: Dean Boughen, Ashley Cox, Stuart Darby, Damien Goodwin, Patrick Jordan, Brent Kinnane, Liam Lambert, Paul Malcolm, Lindsay Marsh, Achuthan Nair, Bruce Ostrofski, Jay Petersen, Peter Pouloudis, Stephen Rogers, Tony Ross (captain), Adam Spry. Coach: Sam Spry. Manager: Natalie Jordan.
Ipswich over-40 number two: Richard Adie, Shane Brown, Phil Daly, Mark Davidson, Jack Farmer, Steve Mallet, Brian Milburn, Brad Payton, Shayne Petersen, Craig Rew (captain), Brett Smith, Travis Smith. Coach: Steven Timperley. Manager: Crimity Mason.
Ipswich over-50 team: Gary Adsett, William Allen, Craig Barrett (captain), Andrew Boyle, Wayne Collins, Wayne Follett, Nigel Gray, David Harper, Rob Johnston, Paul Marquardt, David Robke, Pete Smith, Terry Wode, Warren Zumbansen, Peter Oldham, Darren Stephens. Coach: Sam Spry. Manager: Jodie Zumbansen.
Matches start at 5pm on Friday, continuing on Saturday from 9am and 8am on Sunday. Finals are scheduled from 9am on Monday.
Super League championships in Brisbane this weekend.
South West Lumberjacks: Cade Banditt, Matthew Finn, Jarrod Brown (captain), Campbell Coghlan, Tyler Spry, Zac Profke, Joshua Bidgood, David Hubbard, Caleb McCoombes, Zac McCoombes, Sam Morgan, Phil Dumpelton, Kai Douglas, Nathan Smith, Ryan Smith, Wilson Love, Dean Jeffrey, Zachary Day. Coach: Ken McCoombes. Manager: Adrian Bidgood.
Draw: Saturday - 2.30pm v South Coast Sharks. 8.30pm v Northern Storm. Sunday: 11.15am v Central Mudturtles. 8.45pm v Brisbane Fury. Monday: 1.30pm v Central Mudturtles.
South West Lumberjills: Sarah Steinhardt, Talicia Canty, Sara Rogers, Madeline Staff, Holly Gilbar, Kelly McNamara, Jordn Office, Elise Matherson, Aimee Griffiths, Abby Eleison, Tatum Stewart, Ella White, Natalie Davison, Mekenzie Hermann, Aleisha Neumann, Johannah Goschnick, Layla Eleison, Jane Gleeson. Coach: Terry Khan. Manager: Carolyn Bool.
Draw: Saturday - 1pm v South Coast Sharks. 7pm v Northern Storm. Sunday: 11am v Central Mudturtles. 5pm v Wide Bay Thunder. Monday: 10.15am v Brisbane Blitz.
Entry is free to the State Hockey Centre at Colmslie. The grand finals will be streamed live on the Hockey Queensland Facebook page.