The Ipswich Eagles will need to scramble hard to beat Wynnum in Saturday's QFA Division 2 match against joint competiton leaders Wynnum.
The Ipswich Eagles will need to scramble hard to beat Wynnum in Saturday's QFA Division 2 match against joint competiton leaders Wynnum. Rob Williams

Ipswich footy bid to stay on top

AUSSIE RULES: It's the heavyweight bout that's been on the Ipswich Eagles radar since Wynnum were rated favourites to win this year's competition.

Although the result is unlikely to have a major bearing on the final QFA Division 3 standings, it's an early top-of-the-table clash the Eagles are anxious to win.

After three comfortable victories to open the new season, Ipswich are yet to be seriously challenged.

That was highlighted in last weekend's 123-32 victory over Moorooka at Limestone Park.

Head coach Kym Mansell showed how much he wants his side to stay committed by giving his team a serve at three-quarter time after the Eagles cruised through the second and third periods.

The gee-up worked with Ipswich booting eight goals in the last 20 minutes to complete a comprehensive win.

However, Mansell knows his players can't give Wynnum the same latitude in Saturday's 2pm match at Kianawah Road.

"We've had a few good wins but without being disrespectful, we haven't really played any one (of the top teams),'' Mansell said.

That changes on Saturday against Wynnum, who like Ipswich, have dominated their first three encounters.

Wynnum have already amassed 416 points, conceding just 105.

The Eagles have recorded 358 points, allowing 132 eager to go one better than reaching last year's grand final.

"According to the experts, they (Wynnum) are the team to beat this year,'' Mansell said.

"They are the favourites.

"It (the game) shows where we are with what we've got. There's no excuses coming from us no matter what.''

 

Ipswich Eagles V Moorooka QFA Division 3 aussie rules match played at Mark Marsh Oval on Saturday.
The Ipswich Eagles are focused on testing themselves against a competition heavyweight today. Rob Williams

With six or more players likely to be unavailable again today, Mansell is backing his team's depth to get the job done.

"We went to Nambour with 10 players out and still won by 50 odd points,'' he said.

"We don't dwell on who is playing and who is not playing because I've got a squad capable of doing the job.''

Among the players Mansell wants to see line up each week is exciting forward Henry Armour. He kicked nine goals last weekend after a similar haul in Ipswich's first home game of the season.

"He's been outstanding in both games he's played for us this year,'' Mansell said.

"He's not a big guy. He just penetrates on the ball and once that ball comes in, he's got a good hard lead as well.''

Mansell is pleased to see Ipswich's younger players stepping up as he builds a combination capable of winning this year's premiership.

"We haven't fielded our strongest side yet,'' he said.

Game day

QFA Division 3 Rd 4: Saturday (2pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Wynnum at Kianawah Road.