Ipswich defensive ‘boss’ to cheer team from sideline
WHEN the Ipswich Eagles stride on to their home field eager for revenge, they will be missing one of their most accomplished organisers.
However, powerhouse defender Lara Boon won't be far away cheering on her teammates.
The Eagles need to beat Pine Rivers in Saturday afternoon's elimination final at Limestone Park to keep alive their hopes of winning back-to-back QFAW Division 2 North grand finals.
Boon suffered a season-ending left knee injury in last weekend's loss to Alexandra Hills.
"It's pretty disheartening because I played every game and be that role where I boss people around in the back,'' the fullback said.
"I can see the whole field and make sure they stick to their play and do that leadership role when I'm in the backline.
"There's nothing like finals footy and it's going to be disappointing to not be able to participate and be on the park with the girls.
"This is what we work all season for and it's a different atmosphere.''
But having shared in last year's historic Ipswich grand final triumph, Boon is backing the fourth-placed Eagles to beat the team below them on the table.
"I'm confident they will be able to get the win and hopefully get through to another grand final where I can sit back and support them still on the sideline,'' Boon said.
"I'll be cheering them on Saturday. I'll be sitting there doing what I can for them.
"I'm part of the team still. I've come this far with them.''
The Eagles enter the playoffs with five wins, two losses and a draw. Pine Rivers had five wins and three losses.
Pine Rivers are one of the two sides to beat the defending premiers in this year's shortened QFAW Division 2 season.
But Boon said Ipswich's previous 24-12 loss to Pine Rivers would count for little on Saturday.
"It was their home game and it was pretty crappy conditions,'' she said.
"It wasn't our best game by all means. But I know definitely, when we play at home, we kind of step it up another level.
"I know the girls will be out to really prove something on the weekend being a home game and being do-or-die for the finals.''
Boon injured her kicking knee in the first quarter of last weekend's 30-20 loss.
"I went for a tackle and she had a little bit more on me size-wise and she sort of just sprang me off,'' Boon said.
The Eagles player was left with a dislocated knee that will require off-season rehabilitation.
The fearless former Brisbane Roar W-League goalkeeper will be replaced at fullback by Laura Ashlee Dyde.
In welcome news for the Eagles, Sophie Crawford and Brandy Lowe return after missing last week's match.
The team's leading goalkicker has been Tamita Balanco with 15. She has been well supported by Kertisha Thompson (seven goals) and Jessica Miles (five).
"I think they are going to continue to be solid coming into the finals,'' Boon said.
"They are definitely quality players that if we can hold on to them for a few more seasons, they are definitely going to be an asset to us in the future.''
QFAW Division 2 North first elimination final - Saturday (4.45pm): Ipswich Eagles (4th) v Pine Rivers (5th) at Limestone Park.
Second elimination final: Jindalee (3rd) v Alexandra Hills (6th).