Door open for Redbank
"EVERY dog has his day," was the message from Redbank Plains coach John Leota ahead of his side's Rugby League Ipswich round 11 epic.
If ever there was a chance for the Bears to knock off competition frontunners Brothers, it is this weekend.
The Brethren enter the fixture vulnerable without three of their best, including instrumental halfback Chris Ash and dominant forwards Josh Afoa and Robert Kennedy who are on South-east Queensland representative duties.
The omission of the three key men presents a golden opportunity to the Bears, who are in form after trouncing Norths 40-12 in their last start.
A scoreline which indicates Redbank Plains possesses the firepower to trouble a Brothers outfit that overcame the Tigers 42-12 in round nine.
Sitting atop the ladder on 28 points, the Brethren lead Goodna (26), Swifts (25), Redbank (24), Norths (18), West End (15) and Fassifern (14).
Their only defeat came against Swifts in round 7.
Following the 28-24 loss suffered in front of their home fans, coach Jason Connors criticised halves Josh Leisemann and Willie Oloitoa, who lacked direction and creativity in the absence of Ash.
With the occasional Ipswich Jets playmaker missing again, the same combination that faced the Bluebirds will be entrusted with managing the attack.
Concerned history may repeat, Connors reportedly pulled the duo aside at training mid-week and issued stern instructions.
"I've had a big chat to them and let them know that they have to be 100 per cent on their game because they will need to be," he said.
"You just don't know what Redbank are going to bring to the table. But we treat every game like we are playing the top team and I think that's the way you should approach it."
Also worrying the Brothers mentor is the fact his team has had two weeks off due to the Chairman's Challenge and the bye.
"It is not ideal," he said.
"I don't like having that break, especially during Winter when training can be hard."
Despite the disruption, the blue and white remain confident after touching up the Bears 34-10 in round four.
But Connors said he had warned his charges of becoming complacent.
"I don't want us getting ahead of ourselves or starting to think we are better than anyone else," he said.
"We need to concentrate on what we do best.
"We have a good side but everyone has a role to play."
Redbank have been forced to make minor changes. New recruit former West Tiger Andrew Vela will face Brothers for the first time in his second appearance for his new club.
Fully aware that Brothers would be understaffed, Leota said he hoped his side would show up with the attitude required to capitalise.
"They do have some quality players out and it is an advantage," he said
"It would be good to get a win against Brothers at Brothers.
"If we win it is a massive boost for our boys.
"So hopefully, they can turn it on. I know they can."
With the bye next weekend to freshen up, Leota said the Bears would treat the game like it was worth six all-important competition points and leave nothing on the field.
RLI A-Grade Round 11: Tomorrow (5pm): Fassifern Bombers v West End Bulldogs at Daniel's Park.
Sunday (3pm): Brothers v Redbank Plains Bears at Raceview, Norths v Goodna at Keith Sternberg Oval.