High-flying Eagles have chance to create footy history
AUSSIE RULES: The depth of the Ipswich Eagles women has been their strength this season as they look to secure a historic grand final spot today.
However, with two key players unavailable and some others being monitored with injury, the Eagles face their biggest test against competition leaders Hinterland in today's QFAW Division 2 North semi-final.
Despite being without consistent centres Leah Sibbick and Selina Prevolsek, head coach Rex Watts was backing his side to continue its winning momentum.
"We've still got a very good team,'' Watts said, buoyed by last weekend's 40-11 qualifying final victory over Pine Rivers.
"We're back on track and the girls played really well right from the first bounce.''
Although the Eagles get a second shot at making the grand final if they lose at Palmwoods, Watts said his team deserved to feel confident.
After losing 29-2 to Hinterland early in the season, the Eagles showed their tremendous improvement by beating the competition pacesetters 41-9 in the return game.
"We came up with a better structure,'' Watts said. "The second time round, you know how they play and you can set up your structures to combat that.''
Against Pine Rivers last Saturday, Samara Mahoney was brilliant with 22 possessions.
In another committed team effort, Watts said backline player Stephanie Cockerill-Wright, co-captain Sam Chisholm and Kate Lenz were also standout performers.
Being in control of the game gave Watts a chance to try a few more positional changes in his quest to keep fine-tuning for today's final.
The third-placed Ipswich Eagles men continue their preparation for the QFA Division 3 finals by playing Gympie away this afternoon.
QFAW Division 2 North semi-final: Today (4.45pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Hinterland at Palmwoods.
Winner advances directly to the grand final with the loser receiving a second chance.
QFA Division 3: Today (2pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Gympie at Ray Warren Oval.