RISING TALENT: Ipswich Eagles ruckman Zac Lawrence shows his aerial skills in Saturday's QFA Division 3 match against the Hinterland Blues.
RISING TALENT: Ipswich Eagles ruckman Zac Lawrence shows his aerial skills in Saturday's QFA Division 3 match against the Hinterland Blues. Rob Williams

Eagles' 'best' footy player refocuses on the real goal

AUSSIE RULES: Like his Ipswich teammates, Eagles ruckman Zac Lawrence wasn't overly concerned by his team's latest 48 point defeat.

The real footy starts this weekend.

That's when the third-placed Eagles tackle second-placed Wynnum in the opening round of QFA Division 3 finals.

After head coach Kym Mansell gave eight senior team regulars a day off on Saturday, Lawrence said the result had no bearing on the finals.

"Win or a loss, neither our teams were changing spots so we were pretty happy to rest a few people,'' Lawrence said.

"Take care of a few injuries, rest a few people, try some different things, a few different players in different positions . . . just to spice it up I guess.''

Brassall electrician Lawrence was Ipswich's best in Saturday's 110-62 loss to Hinterland Blues at Limestone Park.

"The last few weeks I've been a little bit down because of the winter weather coming in unfortunately but the start of the year has been good, been strong,'' he said.

"I wasn't part of the grand final last year so I'd definitely like to play in the grand final this year.''

 

Ipswich Eagles QFA Division 3 mens's match against Hinterland. Zac Lawrence.
Ipswich's best on ground Zac Lawrence advances the ball in Saturday's game. Rob Williams

Having finished the regular season with 12 wins and six losses, the Eagles will need to lift against Wynnum (14 wins, four losses) in this weekend's qualifying final.

However, Lawrence said the Eagles were confident about the finals despite some mixed lead-up form.

"We've definitely had our hot and cold moments,'' he said. "I definitely know our boys can turn it on. We'll be a strong team.

"Onwards and upwards. Hopefully we can turn it on for the finals.''

Lawrence, 23, has been with the Eagles on and off for the past five years.

He started his footy career with the Ipswich Cats before a stint with the GWS under-18 academy colts team and joining the Eagles.

With a height advantage, he enjoys playing in the ruck.

"It's a bit of a hard slog to do it but you definitely get the rewards if you play your position right,'' he said.

The Eagles led 21-15 at the end of Saturday's first quarter before trailing 47-30 at halftime and down 58-46 at three-quarter time.

The match was played in a carnival atmosphere. A good crowd watched the men before cheering on the Eagles women. They reached the grand final with to 27-4 win in the QFAW Division 2 North preliminary final against Moorooka.

State of play

QFA Division 3: Hinterland Blues 16.14-110 def Ipswich Eagles 8.14-62.

Reserves: Hinterland 13.6.84 def Eagles 6.1-37.