Go girls: Freshened up Eagles refocus on footy finals
AUSSIE RULES: It wasn't quite the outcome the Ipswich Eagles were chasing in their quest to host a home final this season.
However, the Eagles head into the final preliminary game in this year's QFA Women's Division 2 competition with plenty to play for.
A six-point loss to Redcliffe in last weekend's away game cost Ipswich a chance to secure a Limestone Park final in the first week of looming playoffs.
The Eagles slipped to fourth (36 points) behind Hinterland (48), Redcliffe (40) and Pine Rivers (38) after the 4.5-29 to 3.5-23 defeat at Rothwell Park last Saturday.
"It was tough game but I did have a few girls out,'' head coach Rex Watts said.
However, having immensely enjoyed his first season coaching the Eagles women, Watts was confident his side could lock up a top four position against Sandgate at Lemke Road this weekend.
"We've freshened up this week so we'll be right this week,'' he said after going down to Redcliffe, just seven days after beating the same team at Limestone Park.
"It was just a little nitch.
"But we'll get involved this week and we'll be back on track.''
Victory on Saturday will ensure the Eagles make the playoffs in either third or fourth.
"If we win that first final (of the playoff series), we'll play Hinterland for a clash straight into the final,'' the long-serving footy coach and official said.
The Eagles beat Sandgate by 17 points in the first round, giving Ipswich added confidence to get the job done.
"We're a lot stronger now,'' Watts said.
Despite having some key positional players out against Redcliffe, Watts was heartened by the "absolutely brilliant'' efforts of Selena Prevolsek, Leah Sibbick and Samara Mahoney, especially in the centres.
Heading into the Redcliffe game, the Eagles women had won nine of their 13 matches.
Making it 10 from 15 (including a bye) would set the promising group of Ipswich players up for a final burst after such a positive footy season.
QFAW Division 2 North Rd 15: Saturday (4.45pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Sandgate at Sandgate.