Goodna's Ramon Filipine is one of the experienced players leading the Eagles in the Volunteers Cup competition kicking off on Saturday. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Goodna's Ramon Filipine is one of the experienced players leading the Eagles in the Volunteers Cup competition kicking off on Saturday. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Ipswich league back: See how teams match up

BOMBER'S BLAST

By Anthony Breeze

THE Bulimba Cup was the jewel in the crown for rugby league back in the early days.

Hard fought clashes between Ipswich and Toowoomba were always the pinnacle with both towns having star performers who would go on to play for Queensland and Australia.

This competition finished in 1972.

With the COVID crisis hitting this year, it has set up another chapter in the battle for supremacy with the Volunteers Cup being run by Rugby League Ipswich this year.

It features three Ipswich competition sides in West End, Norths and Goodna taking on Toowoomba opponents Valleys, Souths and Gatton.

It will be a 10 fixture round season before semi-finals and grand final.

Who will lift the Cup come October 18?

Will it be an Ipswich or Toowoomba side?

Action starts on Saturday at the North Ipswich Reserve.

See how the combatants measure up.

1.30pm: Norths Tigers v Gatton Hawks

The Tigers and Hawks will have the honour of opening the new season and provide first bragging rights to Ipswich or Toowoomba.

The Tigers ended last year with some solid wins and look to have kept most players. They have however welcomed the return of strike centre in Tonga Mounga.

Norths will have one of the youngest teams in the competition which will take them a long way into games. But they must listen to the experienced players in Chris Scanlon and Mounga.

Current best and fairest Blake Olive also returns and will be looking to stay injury free and return to the great form he produced last year.

Chris Scanlan
Chris Scanlan

Gatton have had experience in an Ipswich competition with the club playing in the IRL for many years before moving to the Toowoomba competition.

Gatton lost a few games that they should have won last year and this meant they just missed out on finals last year.

The Hawks will look to improve a few areas that let them down last year.

From all reports, the club will be right in the mix this year.

A name to look out for is Oliver Bichel (son of Robbie) who at the tender age of 17 will make his A Grade debut.

The kid has talent and if he has his fathers' toughness and work ethic, he will go a long way.

3.30pm: West End Bulldogs v Souths Tigers

THE Bulldogs and Tigers will be looking to make the finals for the first time in a long while. West End put some great games together last year but let themselves down with some poor handling and bad decision making.

Coach Jae Woodward always wanted his club to play rugby league and was prepared to move them to Brisbane if the Ipswich competition didn't start. They have been the club who started training early and will be one of the fittest sides in the competition.

With a few Ipswich clubs not playing in Ipswich this year, it has meant an influx of players from other clubs to the kennel.

Harold Mosby.
Harold Mosby.

The Bulldogs have welcomed Bluebirds Harold Mosby and Aaron Nemani, Brothers players Elijah Umu and Fine Faingaa plus Jets player Shar Waldren.

Combinations may be a little out early but as the weeks go by they will definitely be the big improvers.

The Souths Tigers, who will be coached by Liam Capewell, will take a young side into this competition with a host of talented Mustangs players. They have been out of finals in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition for a while now but will look to give some young players valuable A-Grade experience which will stand them in good stead for next year's title run.

Souths could be the smokeys of the competition.

5.30pm: Goodna Eagles v Valleys Roosters

THE final game in round one is between powerhouse clubs in the battle of the birds.

The Goodna Eagles have a new side that will take the field with a mixture of experience and youth.

The experience comes in players like Roman Filipine, John Maila and Rez Phillips who will be out to guide a bunch of talented up and coming players from their junior ranks.

 

Goodna's Ramon Filipine. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Goodna's Ramon Filipine. Picture: Cordell Richardson

The forward pack still has size and now will be blessed with some raw untapped potential in the backline.

New coach Alistair Taua'a will be the man at the helm to try and gel the old with the new but he has been around long enough and has a wealth of football knowledge.

The Roosters are the TRL premiers from last year. They will be one of the leading clubs to win this year's title and will bring a formidable side into this competition.

They are the glamour club in Toowoomba who celebrated 100 years in the TRL competition last year.

The Roosters will be out to add another trophy to the cabinet.

When you have strike weapons like the McGrady brothers you are a serious threat.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. UFC fighter Robert Whittaker returned to the ring after losing his title in his last fight and produced a superb display defeating Darren Till. The win keeps him as the number one contender.

2. AFL fans have started a footy fix with games being played for 20 straight days. It's only day three so sit back and enjoy action every day now for another two weeks.

Negatives: 1. Hugh Bowman is one of the greatest jockeys we have produced but he got it horribly wrong last week at Rosehill. A lengthy suspension might just be coming his way.

2. SBW returning to back to back premiers the Roosters. I not sure how they can fit him in under the cap but they always seem to find a way. Why didn't he help out the Warriors.

Sporting birthdays

1. 1958 - Daley Thompson - British decathlete champion regarded as one of the greatest athletes in the world in the 80's.

2. 1964 - Jurgen Klinsman - German footballer who played a big part in West Germany winning the 1990 World Cup.

3. 1982 - Jimmy Anderson - champion English fast bowler who holds the record for most wickets for England in Test and ODI's.

On this day

1. 1932 - The 10th Olympic Games open in Los Angeles.

2. 1948 - Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek wins Gold at the London Olympics in the 10,000m.

3. 1990 - English opener Graham Gooch scores 123 in the 2nd Innings against India. This followed his first innings of 333.