Goodna is looking to kick on this season after missing last year’s Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade grand final. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Goodna is looking to kick on this season after missing last year’s Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade grand final. Picture: Cordell Richardson

How Eagles, Bulldogs muscling up for new season


IN the latest look at how Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade teams are preparing for the new season, today we preview Goodna and West End.

Goodna: Why they can win - Goodna have undoubtedly the biggest and best forward pack in the competition which spells danger to all other clubs.

The addition of Rangers player Andrew Petaia, Rez Phillips and John Maila will add strength and experience to their already imposing forward depth. They always start the season strong and will be hurting from not making the grand final last year.

Ono So'oialo started the season slowly last year but caught fire towards the end of the year. He returns at fullback for the Eagles and will cause havoc returning the ball.

Why they can't win: While they have a monster pack, Goodna are a little light on in the backs department with last year's excitement machine Brett Kelly and speedster Ray Baira having not returned to the Eagles nest currently. A new half pairing in the Morton brothers may take time to gel which could see them slip down the ladder early on in the season which might move them out of the all-important top two. Goal kicking may also be a problem with last year's kicker Kelly nowhere to be seen.

Finals: Mark them down as a definite top four team and if they gel, top two.


Brothers player Israel Oti has been training with West End. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Brothers player Israel Oti has been training with West End. Picture: Cordell Richardson


West End: Why they can win - The Bulldogs have acquired a few fringe Jets players which will only make them more competitive this year.

Brothers grand final hooker Israel Oti has turned up at the kennel to play with his two brothers. He will add a lot of organisation within the forward pack.

West End's Player of the Year from 2019 Aiden Boyce is in great shape and will be out to show that last year's form was not a flash in the pan.

If coach Jae Woodward can harness 80 minute performances out of this team, they will surprise a lot of clubs.

Why they can't win: Although they have improved their depth this year, I am not sure yet whether this will be enough to trouble the top teams.

With a host of new players pulling on the Bulldogs jersey for the first time, the cohesion will be lacking early in the season meaning they may need to win many games in the second half of the season.

While they are competitive at home, their away record is very poor.

Finals: I am unsure whether West End can match the top three sides but they could sneak into fourth.

Drug protest proven

DRUGS in sport has no place and finally a cheat has been outed and heavily suspended for shameful cheating.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has always been under a dark cloud with drug charges against him finally confirmed and him being handed an eight-year ban.

Aussie swimmer Mack Horton led a protest against Yang at the world championships when he finished second to him. Horton refused to stand on the podium with Yang.

At the time some people disagreed with the strong stance that Horton had taken but his actions have proven to be 100% correct.

If you want to take performance-enhancing drugs to help you win, cop the punishment when you get caught.

Quick thoughts

HEROES: 1. IOC President Bach has confirmed that the Olympics will go ahead later this year in Tokyo.

2. UC Capitals proved they are the best female basketball team in the country by winning back-to-back WNBL titles.

3. NRL expansion is back on the agenda and the Western Corridor bid is ready to win the race to become the second south east Queensland team based here in Ipswich.

Villains: 1. The Aussie cricket team went to South Africa as a team on fire but have been brought back to earth with some indifferent performances.

2. ICC: No spare days have been scheduled for the Women's T20 World Cup semi-finals.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1947 - Dick Fosbury, a champion high jumper and inventor of the Fosbury Flop, is born in Portland.

2. 1989 - Agnieszka Radwanska (a polish tennis player born in Krakow).

On this day: 1. 1922 - Babe Ruth signs a three-year contract with the New York Yankees for $52,000 a year.

2. 1964 - Cassius Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali.

3. 1985 - Mike Tyson KO's Hector Mercedes in round one of his first pro fight.

Bomber's best: My horse tip Slyvia's Mother was too fast for them last Saturday winning easily.

The roll will continue in the Australian Cup tomorrow with No 14 Miss Siska a great each-way chance.