Bluebirds flying high in junior development
RUGBY LEAGUE: In a positive sign for the club's future, Swifts will provide the lion's share of teams for Rugby League Ipswich Junior Development Grand Final day.
Junior president Ross Allwood said the greatest games of all were always defined by defence and Sunday's struggles for supremacy would be no different as the under 13, 15 and 18 Bluebirds take flight.
Allwood said all involved with the 100-year-old club were extremely proud of everyone of its junior players who took the field each week.
He said Swifts was not the biggest junior club and it was a remarkable achievement to have three of its teams dominating proceedings on Sunday.
"Our junior players don't need to make the final for us to be proud,” he said.
"It doesn't matter what the scoreline is. They all turn up and put in every game.”
Allwood said the success was a testament not only to the players and coaches but also to the army of volunteers that made possible a prosperous season.
He said senior players had been assisting junior teams and a culture which encouraged integration had also proven beneficial.
"Ducky (A-Grade coach Damian O'Donohue) is a big advocate for the interaction of senior and junior players,” he said.
"To be one club all there to support each other. The boys look up to the A-graders. They are their first heroes they get to mingle around.”
The Bluebirds will be hoping the under-13s can set a winning tone when they meet Norths from 9am.
Swifts were the minor premier but the Tigers nipped at their heels the whole way.
The sides have met three times this season. The upper hand lies with the Purga platoon but only just. A mere two points separated the clubs in their first two clashes with each jagging a win.
In the tie-breaker Swifts prevailed by eight.
Despite the result, Allwood said the final round clash was the toughest yet and he anticipated the intensity to reach new heights in the big dance.
He said the Bluebirds would look to hard-running lock forward Oliva Smith, gritty prop Liam Wilson and cunning halfback Lachlan Allwood for inspiration.
"Everything Oliva does is at 100 mile an hour,” Allwood said.
"Liam has been going really well.
"The whole team needs to stand up but if they are leading we will have a fair crack.”