Action from the Round 7 Volunteers Cup match between West End and Gatton at Keith Sternberg Oval. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Action from the Round 7 Volunteers Cup match between West End and Gatton at Keith Sternberg Oval. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Bulldogs chance to put more bite on beaten Eagles

BOMBER'S BLAST

Anthony Breeze

ROUND 7 of the Volunteers Cup had it all with a Toowoomba team flexing some muscle, an Ipswich side finally delivering on the field and the undefeated title favourites getting beaten.

What does Round 8 have in store as Toowoomba hosts Saturday's games at Herb Steinohrt Oval? Check out the match-ups.

1.30pm: Goodna v West End

Goodna suffered their first defeat for the season and West End finally played as a team and recorded a thumping victory.

The Eagles normally produce a strong 80 minute performance but last week they looked to tire a little in the second half where they failed to score a point.

The Eagles will be smarting from that loss and will be looking to hit back hard against the Bulldogs.

Goodna build their game on forward power which then enables the backline stars like Besse Aufaga-Toomaga and Elone Taufa to create havoc at out wide.

Aufaga-Toomaga has been the star of the competition so far but Norths found a way to nullify some of his brilliance.

West End will be hoping that they too can contain him.

Goodna must also keep their discipline in check as it started to cost them late in the game against Norths and cannot allow this to halt their early season form.

West End finally produced an 80 minute effort and got some good rewards with several players producing their best games of the season.

Jesse Zampech produced a dazzling display to score three tries last week.

Centre Rodney Mauga created many chances out wide and the Bulldogs will be hoping the same this week.

West End's forward pack has been beaten on several occasions this year but really dug deep last week to give some of their speedy backs more room to move and they really

appreciated the extra time.

The Bulldogs' chances for the remainder of the season have been dealt a huge blow with arguably their best player in Aiden Boyce injuring his knee, which will rule him out for the

remainder of the season.

The Bulldogs nearly beat the Eagles in the first round and will be hoping they can again produce the effort required to tame their opponents.

This promises to be a good match. Goodna is tipped to regroup strongly after last week's loss.

3.30pm: Souths v Gatton

Both Toowoomba teams suffered defeats last week with Gatton especially poor in their clash against West End.

Souths currently sit in equal fourth with the Bulldogs and really need to win this one to help

consolidate a top four spot.

Gatton are anchored to the bottom and a win will give them some much needed confidence for the remainder of the season.

While they start games well, Souths have been fading towards the back end and will need to play a strong 80 minutes out to again prove they deserve a semi finals position.

They have a strong halves pairing in Ashurst and Dunneman but they can't spark the

team if the forwards don't give them a platform to work off.

While Maidan, Hartvigsen and Whittaker have been strong, they require the whole pack to work as a team if they are to go deep into the finals.

Gatton had been a team on the improve but really let themselves down last week with a poor effort. The Hawks will be hoping that it was only a minor hiccup before flying back into some form this week.

Like Souths they also need a better effort from their pack and follow the lead of Hicks and

Frohloff who have been strong in previous weeks.

Half Jake Hooper has been scheming around the rucks looking for chances but poor field

position makes his job all that harder.

White at the back and Bichel on the wing have also been strong for the Hawks and will be required again to show the way forward. This will be a close one but

Souths have much more to play for.

5.30pm: Valleys v Norths

A game between two teams that are in form with the winner of this one taking outright second position on the ladder.

Valleys regrouped after their lose to Goodna to completely outplay TRL rivals Souths.

Norths did what some were saying was impossible and beat title favourites Goodna.

Valleys have great depth and it showed last week with star half Gerome Burns missing the match and being replaced by Josh Chappell who didn't look out of place in the 7 jersey. Valleys pack, led by Chong-Nee and Mouatt, were superb. They will need to produce again

if the Roosters want to get away with this game.

While the pack has been stepping up, the backs have been running riot out wide with Chown,

Chalmers and Diment hitting the scoreboard on most occasions.

The Norths team have been working as one unit and with everyone on the one page the results have followed.

Kyle Blackman has been sensational with his edge running in previous weeks while Fisher and Folau have been very strong upfront.

Luke Self has arguably been the Tigers best at the back. He has been getting great ball from halves Smith and Lowe and centre Moun'ga.

Utility Anava Fesolai has been great all year whether its been in the forwards or the backs and needs to play a big part if the Tigers taste victory.

This is the game of the round with Norths looking to avenge the 52-8 thumping the

Roosters tasted in Round 2.

It's a toss of the coin game with maybe a field goal to swing it one way.

 

Aussie batsmen Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey pose with the Royal London One Day Series trophy after Australia’s stunning victory in the third ODI in Manchester. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Aussie batsmen Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey pose with the Royal London One Day Series trophy after Australia’s stunning victory in the third ODI in Manchester. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. The Aussie cricket team grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat with a superb win in Wednesday night's One Day International. Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey were awesome.

2. English Premier League fans can rejoice as season 2020/21 has kicked off with most of the fancied team enjoying a first-round victory.

3. The Queensland Reds have had nothing to cheer about in previous seasons but have reached Saturday's final against the Brumbies with some great form.

Negatives: 1. Cowboys forward Josh McGuire is supposed to be showing the younger forwards the way. Unfortunately he let them down last week with a foul-mouthed rant directed at the referee. His 10 minutes in the sin bin basically ended their chance of victory as the Storm raced in two tries in his absence.

2. The Brisbane Broncos are only two weeks away from ending a season from Hell with another loss last week to rivals, the Titans. The Broncos look likely to be crowned the worst team in Queensland.

Sporting birthdays

1. 1968: Toni Kukoc - NBA player with mainly the Chicago Bulls. Kukoc played 846 games in his long career.

2. 1971: Lance Armstrong - American road cyclist who was banned for life and stripped of many titles after admitting to illegal drug use.

3. 1976: Ronalso - Brazilian soccer player popularly described as "O Fenomeno" (The Phenomenon).

On this day

1. 1848: Baseball rules that first basemen can tag base for out instead of runner.

2. 1965: Baseballer Mickey Mantle plays his 2000th game at Yankee Stadium.

3. 1997: Golfers Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo elected in the World Golf Hall of Fame.