TOP TUSSLE: IRL heats up for finals.
TOP TUSSLE: IRL heats up for finals. Franca Tigani

League or union, Eagles or Hawks, finals are heating up Ipswich

AS ONE door shuts, another opens in the world of rugby league.

Brisbane have bounced back to within two victories of a top four finish in the NRL, while feeder team - the Ipswich Jets - have had their chances of playing finals football snuffed out.

Stuck in the unenviable position of needing other results to go their way, the Jets were left empty handed after Souths Logan defeated Mackay on the weekend.

A host of new players joined the defending premiers this year, and despite an injury-maligned season were still a genuine finals darkhorse should they have had a few more results go their way.

Despite knocking off ladder leaders Burleigh and PNG, already the calls have come for co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker to abandon the tactics which saw them reach such great heights only 12 months prior.

Yes, those short kickoffs didn't provide the same surprise tactic as last year. But part of that comes down to how familiar the players themselves are at taking advantage of those set plays.

That familiarity doesn't just happen in one season. New players take time to develop their combinations and I can't think of a more difficult team to try and learn the ropes than the free-flowing Jets.

Patience is a virtue Jets fans, and if you're looking to see how effective the Walkers unique style can be look no further than the BRL boys this weekend.

Under Mark Bishop, the Reserve grade Jets finished the season in third. They will take on Easts on Saturday at North Ipswich Reserve.

Top two showdown

GOODNA deserve the recognition for setting the bar this year in the IRL A Grade. After finishing minor premiers, the Eagles are in for a huge showdown with the second-placed Brothers this weekend.

Last time the two sides met Brothers pushed the Goodna pack right to the end and were unlucky to come away with the scalp.

A high-scoring game which ended in a nail-biting draw, this weekends final rematch should be a rugby league feast.

High-flying Hawks

SPRINGFIELD have booked themselves in for a fairytale finish to their rugby union season.

The Hawks are two-time defending Barber Cup premiers and this weekend can extend that to a third straight year of dominance.

Last year the Reserve grade Pegg Cup side fell in the grand final in what could have been a premiership double for the Ipswich club.

With the competition minor premiers already knocked out of contention, the Hawks are in the box seat to go one better this year and secure two premierships.

I encourage anyone who can to get out to Ballymore Stadium on Saturday to go along and support the mighty Hawks.