Brothers and Norths are securing A-Grade wins despite recent injury challenges. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Brothers and Norths are securing A-Grade wins despite recent injury challenges. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Jets gain ascendancy but don’t forget about Brothers


Anthony Breeze

THE Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade competition has taken on a new look after last weekend's matches.

Premiership hotshots Swifts lost their first game for the year, Brothers showed they will be a force in the finals with an excellent performance and the Norths Tigers added another important win.

See how this weekend's Round 8 shapes up.

Saturday (3pm) - Fassifern v Goodna at Hayes Oval, Harrisville
Fassifern had a huge crowd on hand last week but unfortunately couldn't get the job done against a more committed Brothers outfit.
After showing some form, Goodna lapsed to suffer defeat at Norths.

Fassifern will have home ground advantage in this clash and that hopefully should give them the edge but they will have to compete much better than they did last week. They put in possibly their worse performance of the year with their forwards controlled and the backs getting very little ball.

They need the pack to follow the efforts of Christensen and Lindsay who always seem to have a high workrate and are instrumental on getting them onto the front foot.

If other forwards can follow their lead, five-eight Humphreys will have more time to weave some magic and get the ball into the hands of Ward and Stillman out wide.
After showing some good signs the previous week against Swifts, Goodna really fell away last week by not playing to the game plan. Their experienced players should have taken control but were out energised by the young Tigers outfit.

Captains Filipine and Bennett will hopefully get their minds back on the job this weekend and a much better effort will be put in. Their forwards need to take control of the middle which then will allow Tamamasui Tupuse and Noa room to ignite the Eagles outfit.

Tip: Fassifern in a tight clash.

Action from the Round 6 Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade match between Norths Tigers and Fassifern Bombers at Harrisville. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Action from the Round 6 Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade match between Norths Tigers and Fassifern Bombers at Harrisville. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Sunday (3pm) - Norths v Jets at Cribb Park, North Ipswich
Norths returned to form last week with a convincing win over Goodna.

The Jets flexed their muscles and proved they will be a force by defeating Swifts.

The young Norths side showed enough last week that when they get their combinations together they are a tough team to beat.

What they lose in experience they gain with energy and a big will to win. When it all comes together, anything is possible.

Props Cameron Haug and Lopi Folau just keep carting the ball forward which encourages the rest of the pack to follow them with some tough carries.

Half Lachlan Williamson, in his first full season of senior footy, is getting better as the season moves along.

His kicking game is a big part of the Tigers attack but he needs the pack to stamp their authority first.

The Jets showed last week that when things go to plan they are premiership contenders but they need to back last week's performance up with another full effort this week.

The Jets have undoubtedly the biggest pack in the competition and when they get on the front foot, they are very hard to stop with Nicholas Flocas and Zak Teevan doing the hard stuff.

While the two big boys are controlling the middle, its edge forward Owen McCarron has been doing all the damage with some great charges. The forwards have been great in previous weeks but the halves have also been brilliant with Hughes, Burns and Toby all creating a lot of chances for their outside backs.

It was also good to see two local Rosewood boys get a run last week in the top side, giving them some valuable A Grade experience.

Tip: Jets
Sunday (3pm) - Brothers v Swifts at Raceview.

This is the West Bremer Radio match of the round being broadcast.

Brothers returned to close to their attacking best last week in their victory over Fassifern.

Swifts suffered their first defeat of the year against a fired-up Jets outfit.

Brothers welcomed back Jone Macilai and his presence seemed to ignite the forward pack with a dominant effort across the park.

Matt Bell and Denman Ah You were particularly strong in the middle. Elijah Umu was great out wide.
The forward pack gave them the go-forward which enabled Half William Oloitoa time to take control feeding his outside backs at every opportunity. However his halves partner Josh Leisemann was sensational with a great all-round passing and kicking game which kept the Bombers on the back foot all night.

Swifts have suffered their first defeat but it's not the end of the world as they were just out-enthused by a Jets outfit that came to Purga to play football.

The Bluebirds forward pack toiled hard all day led by Paetou Samatua. They just couldn't get the roll on to let their speedy backs do their thing like they have been doing all year.

Swifts excitement machines Godfrey Okot and Ratu Vatuinaruku also were heavily contained with both players coming out of the game with injuries. They are doubtful of taking their position in this week's clash. Coach Wayne Finch has some depth at his disposal and also has a few players that have been unavailable that may make a return.

Finch however will have to find the winning formula again as the dominant Bluebirds from the early rounds looked a little tired last week.

Tip: Brothers.

Quick thoughts

Winners: 1. The NSW Origin side who put in a blinder of a performance to not only win game one but batter Queensland with some astonishing play.
2. Brisbane Roar may have finished the regular season with a loss but find themselves in fourth position. They have a real crack at winning the title.
3. NBA fans are getting a brilliant playoff series with a host of the top sides still alive. My money is on Brooklyn but don't discard the Jazz, 76ers or Suns.
4. Australian cyclist Richie Porte is in superb form with a breakthrough win recently in France. The win has him looking very good for the upcoming Tour de France.
Losers: 1. The Queensland Origin side who let their fans down with a below par performance in game one. Changes will definitely have to be made.
2. Miami Heat who came into the NBA playoffs in good form but were beaten 4-0, making an exit early.
NRL upwards
1. The Storm know how to win games with several stars missing. Coach Craig Bellamy is a master at getting players up for a game.
2. The Wests Tigers showed enough last week to make a play for a finals spot. They need to back it up this week though.

NRL downwards
1. The Broncos continue to disappoint their fans by producing another below par performance in their flogging from the Dragons.
2. The Newcastle Knights season is just getting worse by the round with a terrible showing on Old Boys day. The Knights have slumped to 14th on the ladder.
Sporting birthdays June 10
1. 1963: Vitak Borkelmans - Belgian soccer defender who represented his country on 22 occasions. He also played 350 games for club Brugge.
2. 1993: Scott McLaughlin - New Zealand racing car driver who won the Supercars driving championships in 2018, 19 and 20.

On this day
1. 1944: Relief pitcher Joe Nuxhall becomes the youngest player to debut at the age of 15 years and 316 days. He would go on to become and All Star and broadcaster.
2. 1962: A record 54 home runs are hit in a single MLB round. That's a record that still stands today.
3. 1977: American golfer Al Geiberger becomes the first player to post a sub 60 score in a PGA event, shooting a 59.
4. 1979: Chris Evert defeats Wendy Turnbull to win her third French Open crown.
5. 1984: Ivan Lendl wins his first Grand Slam title defeating John McEnroe 3/6 2/6 6/4 7/5 7/5.