Ipswich Brothers are looking to build on past successes when they play in this year's SEQ Division 1 competition.
Ipswich Brothers are looking to build on past successes when they play in this year's SEQ Division 1 competition. Franca Tigani

Ipswich clubs building better women's pathway

RUGBY LEAGUE: Having teams at three different levels augurs well for the continued growth of women's rugby league in the region.

New Brothers head coach Liam Bromilow has set high expectations in the Division 1 competition after his team finished second last season before losing their semi-final.

"We've got the squad to win the comp,'' said Bromilow, who has fulfilled coaching roles with Goodna A-Grade and Samoa Queensland teams.

"We'll be playing on all cylinders to try and get there.''

Among Brothers' leaders are highly respected Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw and last year's NRL women's competition hooker of the year Brittany Breayley. Both are Australian players, along with Amelia Kuk and Kody House.

In line with their development goals, Brothers have been recruiting promising young players from around Ipswich and west Brisbane.

"We've got a lot of new girls this year. Most of them are local,'' said Bromilow, who teaches at St Francis Xavier College at Goodna.

"We've recruited some of the juniors from the local competitions plus we've had some move into the area.''

The Brothers team has been training since November for the expanding Division 1 competition.

Brothers will play teams from Souths, Wests, Toowoomba, Tweed, Burleigh and Easts in the new SEQ season which starts on Saturday.

"They are predominantly NRL girls from last year. A majority came from the Brisbane competition,'' he said.

Brothers have a bye in the opening round of the Division 1 competition.

Their first home game is against Souths at Raceview on April 7.

Division 1 champions Burleigh Bears will launch their title defence at Davis Park on Sunday against Souths.

The SEQ Women's Division 1 grand final is scheduled to be played on the weekend of August 2-4.

Goodna girls receive massive boost

LOYAL Goodna player, coach and manager Billy Toa shares the club's excitement having a women's team playing in the SEQ competition for the first time in more than a decade.

Toa was one of the club people with daughters who started junior girls teams in recent years.

He's delighted to see a women's team formed for this year's Division 2 series.

"We need a pathway for the young ones to go to,'' Toa said, overseeing four female teams at Goodna this year. "So we thought 'why not start now'. By the time the 16 and 18 years old get up to women, they should be well established.''

Goodna Eagles' Lima so'e, Ipswich Brothers' Lucy yakapo and Redbank Plains Bears' Kirra elder.
Preparing for a new rugby league season are Lima So'e (Goodna Eagles), Lucy Yakapo (Brothers) and Kirra Elder (Redbank Plains). Cordell Richardson

Toa said the Goodna team was a mixture of regular players and women keen to improve their skills.

"Most of them are siblings from the senior players, partners and Goodna locals,'' he said.

The team has been training for five weeks at Wacol, preparing for their opening game against Pine Central away on Saturday.

The Division 2 competition features nine teams.

Excitement grows at Redbank Plains

REDBANK Plains coach Dean Smith said the group of players in the newly-formed team were eager to play their first game at home on Saturday.

"The girls are pretty excited,'' Smith said, having put the side together about a month ago.

The players come from Redbank's junior ranks and the Kambu Warriors.

Having coached a number of teams at clubs like Redbank and Goodna, Smith hopes the players gel quickly and enjoy their footy.

"They are keen. A lot of the girls haven't played before so it's more the development side of it (in Division 3),'' he said.

The SEQ Division 3 competition has been split into two pools.

Seven clubs are in Division 3 Green with eight sides competing in Division 3 White.

Redbank are in Division 3 Green.

The team's home base is the Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve, venue for the Bears' opening game on Saturday afternoon against Capalaba.