Action from Brothers’ dominant performance against Fassifern in last weekend’s Rugby League A-Grade match at Harrisville. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Action from Brothers’ dominant performance against Fassifern in last weekend’s Rugby League A-Grade match at Harrisville. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Exciting early battle for Ipswich rugby league supremacy


Anthony Breeze

ROUND 2 of the Rugby League Ipswich competition kicks off on Saturday with two games set down for battle.

Another match is scheduled for Anzac Day.

Saturday (6pm): Brothers v Jets at Blue Ribbon Motors Field, Raceview

This is rightfully billed as the match of the round after both sides looked good in round one.

Brothers travelled to Fassifern and easily accounted for the Bombers 36-0 while the Jets recorded a first-up 32-24 loss in a tough contest against Swifts.

The Brothers forwards got them on the front foot early through some charging runs by props Matt Bell and Matt Kuss, which allowed fellow forward Elijah Umu to carve the Bombers up out wide.

While the forwards were doing the tough stuff, Brothers newcomers in the centre winger combination of Jacob Cordtz and Donalex Vilitama were sensational.

Action from the 2021 Rugby League Ipswich season-opening A-Grade match between the Ipswich Jets and Swifts at Rosewood. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Action from the 2021 Rugby League Ipswich season-opening A-Grade match between the Ipswich Jets and Swifts at Rosewood. Picture: Bruce Clayton

The Jets played at Rosewood in round one and a big crowd turned up to witness their first clash in the RLI competition against the Swifts Bluebirds.

Although they didn't get the win, the Jets proved that they will be a strong contender for the title.

They started slow which was to be expected with a host of players playing together for the first time. They got better as the game progressed.

The Jets have a big forward pack with Christian Mikaele and John Schwalger who charged tirelessly into the opposition.

The halves combination in Jacob Teevan and Izaak Toby looked good in patches.

As they learn more about each other's game, they will be a danger to any team later in the season.

Saturday's clash is going to be a beauty and the team that can hold the ball and dominate field position will this game.

Brothers look to have come out injury free from Round 1 and will field the same side.

The Jets also look like playing the same 17 that took the field in their opening clash although they have Schwalger facing suspension.

Tip: Brothers in a hard fought clash.

Saturday (6pm): Fassifern v Norths at Hayes Oval

Fassifern were a little disappointing in their opening home clash losing to Brothers 36-0.

Norths had an opening round bye.

Fassifern had high hopes of going with Brothers last week but were dealt a double blow early with injuries to Jack Wallace (achilles) and Michael Hayes (shoulder,) which greatly diminished their chances of victory.

Once these players left the field, they looked disjointed in attack with some poor last play options enabling Brothers to defend their line with ease.

Charlie Christenson and Dale Ward were strong for the Bombers.

The rest of the team must feed off the energy these two bring to the side.

They have another home game and will be again looking for a strong home crowd to pick the boys up from last week's poor round one loss.

Norths had a longer pre-season than other clubs, drawing the bye in round one. So they sat back and got to watch the other six teams do battle.

The Tigers have lost a few players to Gatton but still have a youthful team that are mostly Norths juniors who will pull the Tigers jersey on with Pride.

They have also had a coach swap in the pre-season with Gary Lawrance giving up his role due to health reasons. He has been replaced by Tigers stalwart Michael Williamson who will step up from coaching the younger grade.

This game will be a good clash and will show both clubs where they sit in the pecking order of the competition.

Tip: Norths in a game that might just go down to the wire.

Sunday (3pm): Swifts v Goodna at Purga

Swifts got their season off on the right foot with a solid win over the Jets 32-24.

This week's opponents Goodna ran riot against a hapless Bulldogs outfit winning by 74-12.

Swifts jumped out of the blocks in their first clash of the year and were stunning as they raced in five first half tries putting the Jets to the sword.

Elusive fullback Godfrey Okot and winger Ratu Vatuinaruku were unstoppable as they scored three of the opening five tries.

The Swifts forward pack were very strong with Jericho Tanavusa having an impressive start to the season.

The Swifts bench was also very strong with all players doing what they had to do when they got their chance on the field.

Goodna were sensational in their opening clash at home against West End, racing in 16 tries. However, goalkicking was a problem only converting five.

It was hard to gauge their performance as the Bulldogs were severely under strength and undermanned but you can only play what is in front of you and they did that superbly.

Each member of the side played strongly. They will have to step up a notch this weekend against a Bluebirds team that looked great in round one.

Swifts are at home which makes them a better side. But they must keep the momentum going from last week and not underestimate a youthful Eagles outfit.

Swifts are favourites in this clash. They will meet a team that may lack some experience but will be high on energy.

Tip: Swifts will run away with it late.

Quick thoughts

WINNERS: 1. The Queensland cricket team that flogged the hapless NSW team to claim the Sheffield Shield. Surely the selectors must now pick a few of them in the national team.

2. The Brisbane Lions women's team who won the AFLW crown. They were fantastic when the time came on the big stage.

3. Melbourne City thrashed Melbourne Victory to remain on top of the ladder. They showed Victory they are the top team in the state and league this year.

LOSERS: 1. Latrell Mitchell must get his ill discipline out of his game. He has tremendous ability but lets himself down with these poor actions.

2. St Kilda had everything to play for but were ripped apart by the Richmond Tigers. They must find some form this week or another thrashing will come as they play Port Adelaide.

3. The six English Premier League sides that joined the breakaway league. Luckily it lasted 48 hours and they came back. What damage has it caused though?

NRL upwards

1. The Sea Eagles welcomed Tommy Trbojevic back and roared back into form. If he stays on the field they will trouble a lot of teams.

2. The Parramatta Eels needed to beat a top side to show the doubters that they are a genuine chance this year and that's what they did with a comprehensive win over the Raiders in Canberra.

NRL downwards

1. The Bulldogs put in another below par performance against a team they were a chance of defeating. They now sit solely on the bottom of the ladder with zero points.

2. The Roosters must regroup after putting in a poor showing against the Storm. Lets see what team shows up this week.

Sporting birthdays April 22

1. 1949: Spencer Hayward - American basketball Hall of Fame forward. He won a title with the LA Lakers and was part of the USA Olympic gold medal-winning team.

2. 1968: Jo Angel - Western Australian fast bowler who played four Tests and three ODIs for Australia. Angel also took 485 wickets in his first-class career.

On this day

1. 1908: Queensland beat NSW by 171 runs to record their first victory at the Gabba.

2. 1908: Babe Ruth plays his first professional game of baseball.

3. 1994: Michael Moorer defeats Evander Holyfield on points to claim the heavyweight boxing crown.