Brothers, Burleigh rivalry set to add another chapter
THEIR path to the major semi-final may have come through different circumstances this season, but Brothers still find themselves face-to-face with a familiar foe on Saturday.
Brothers and Burleigh will renew their short but storied rivalry when the two 2017 grand finalists meet at Pizzey Park for a return to the competition decider.
Following three consecutive losses, the Ipswich side won their final four matches of the regular season to finish in second on percentage and punch their ticket to the SEQ Women's Division 1 major semi final.
The Bears boast a 2-1 advantage over Brothers from three meetings this season, and will be buoyed by playing the second-chance semi at their home ground.
"Burleigh are a very good football team. We will treat them with the respect they deserve, and just focus on controlling what we can do,” Brothers co-coach Nat Dwyer said.
"The girls know what they've got to do. We will just reiterate to the girls we need to control the ball, win field position, have patience, and the rest will come.”
The blue and white will be without underrated fullback Jessica Carey, who suffered an ACL injury and is expected to be out for up to eight months.
Carey's likely replacement at the back, Queensland and Jillaroos star Amelia Kuk, will also miss through injury.
"We've tried to shuffle things around a bit,” Dwyer said.
"Of all the girls in our team . . . she's played several roles for us this year. Jess will be sorely missed.
"Lala told me she would be out for only four weeks, and that was two weeks ago. So fingers crossed if we can make the grand final, she'll be back by then.”
Dwyer believes a more mature Brothers outfit can "go one better” than last season.
"With more game time under their belts, it's only going to improve them and hopefully that cohesion in the side means we can go one step further,” she said.
The coach was hopeful international representatives Kody House and Maitua Feterika can both overcome niggling ankle injuries to take their place on the field.
SEQ Division 1 Major Semi-final: Saturday (2pm) - Brothers Ipswich v Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park