LOCKED IN: Now in his second stint at Swifts, the man who captained them to the 2010 IRL title – Alby Talipeau – is providing experience and leadership from lock for the Bluebirds.
LOCKED IN: Now in his second stint at Swifts, the man who captained them to the 2010 IRL title – Alby Talipeau – is providing experience and leadership from lock for the Bluebirds. Rob Williams

Comeback steels Swifts for in-form Brothers side

WHAT happens when a family of Eagles flies into a flock of Bluebirds?

A happy camp if Swifts five-eighth Wiki Hemopo is to be believed, ahead of tomorrow's IRL A grade clash against Brothers at Llewellyn Motors Field, Purga.

Swifts are coming off a come-from-behind win over Fassifern while Brothers are riding high after flogging the previously unbeaten Goodna.

The Bluebirds have started slowly but Hemopo is more than happy with the way his team is progressing.

It was always going to take some time for the Bluebirds to play to their potential given an influx of new players and assistant coach Lawrie Campbell from the Goodna Eagles.

"It has been as much of a disruption as I thought," Hemopo said.

"The players from Goodna brought the family culture with them."

Given the mix of players at the club this season Finch and Campbell have loosened the structures and given the team license to play what's in front of them.

It suits Hemopo, particularly with experienced lock Alby Talipeau dictating things from lock.

"We just pretty much play what we see," Hemopo said.

"We've still got structures.

"Having Alby at lock is good for me.

"He can choose where he wants to be.

"It suits (halfback) Andrew Taylor too.

"He can choose his time to come into the game and let Alby run the forwards."

Hemopo saw the win over Fassifern as a learning curve for the team.

While the Bombers remain winless at the bottom of the table, it was the way Swifts backed themselves to come back from 30-6 down that encouraged Hemopo.

"We used our power game," he said.

"When our forward pack gets on a good roll it's hard to stop.

"We stuck to the basics and wore them down."

Leading the charge was former Ipswich Jets forward Ray Schuster.

Hemopo has been impressed by the example he sets for the rest of the pack.

"He played a couple of games of Q Cup for the Jets and you can tell," the pivot said.

"He's pretty professional and is showing our forward pack how to do hit it up.

"Everyone is feeding off that."

It took a blast from Campbell at half-time to snap the team into action.

Now Hemopo wants to see his team carry it on against Brothers.

"We want to see where we're at and test ourselves," he said.

"Our forward pack is always the key.

"If they get good go forward our backs will finish them off.

"You can't afford to give the ball away against Brothers."

 

GAME DAY

Today

  • 2nd Division (Bluebirds v Bears at Daniels Park 4pm; Tornadoes v Bulldogs at Daniels Park 5.15pm; Cubs v Leprechauns at Redbank Plains 4.15pm).
  • U19: Eastern Cobras v Brothers at Redbank Plains.
  • Reserve grade: Eastern Cobras v Brothers at Redbank Plains.

Tomorrow

  • Fassifern v West End at Hayes Oval (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 1.30pm, U19s noon).
  • Goodna v Norths at Woogaroo Field (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 1.30pm, U19s noon).
  • Swifts v Brothers at Llewellyn Motors Field (A grade 3pm).
  • Reserve grade: Swifts v Valleys at Llewellyn Motors Field 1.30pm.
  • U19: Swifts v Valleys at Llewellyn Motors Field noon.
  • 2nd Division: Eagles v Tigers at Woogaroo Field 10.45am.