Brothers player Maka Faingaa tries to get his pass away in last weekend's A-Grade clash with Goodna at Raceview.
Brothers player Maka Faingaa tries to get his pass away in last weekend's A-Grade clash with Goodna at Raceview. Rob Williams

Look out: Eagles flying back into title range

BOMBER'S BLAST

RUGBY League Ipswich preview: Goodna v Redbank (Sunday).

Goodna are hitting form at the right end of the season and will be on a high after defeating competition leaders Brothers on their home turf.

Redbank were the hottest team over the past few months but have tasted defeat in their past two outings.

While the minor premiership is probably just out of their reach, the Eagles have secured an all-important top two position. They will look to end the season on a high before battling Brothers again in the first semi-final.

Redbank had the bye last week and will need to find some answers to their lapses in concentration that plagued them in their past two games.

Tip: Goodna.

Fassifern v Brothers (Sunday): Fassifern put in a great effort against Norths last week in the first half but fell away badly in the second to be soundly defeated.

Brothers' loss to Goodna will be a wake-up call that if you are not on your game for the entire time then you will be beaten.

The Bombers will be playing their last home game in front of their loyal fans and will be out to inflict another loss to Brothers.

If they are to achieve this, they will have to be on their game because Brothers have the strike power and speed to burn out wide.

The Bretheren will put last week's loss aside and coach Jason Connors will have them refocussed just weeks out from the semis.

Tip: Brothers.

Swifts v Norths (Sunday): Swifts suffered a shock loss last week to a more fired-up and committed West End outfit.

Norths put the foot on the accelerator in the second half to blow Fassifern away.

Swifts were their own worst enemy last week as their hand-ling of the ball and some important last play options were not up to A-Grade standard.

The Bluebirds must start games in a better frame of mind or they could face an early exit from the competition.

Norths are starting to be a nuisance to all the top four teams and will be battling right to the end in this game.

The Tigers haven't thrown in the towel this year which shows that players still have some pride in the jersey.

Tip: Swifts.

Latest standings

A Grade: 1. Brothers 51, 2. Goodna 48, 3. Redbank 46, 4. Swifts 44, 5. Norths 39, 6. Fassifern 29, 7. West End 28.

Reserve Grade: 1. Goodna 54, 2. Brothers 53, 3. Fassifern 48, 4. Swifts 41, 5. Redbank 35, 6. Norths 29, 7. Rosewood 25, 8. West End 19.

Under 20: 1. Brothers 42, 2. Goodna 37, 3. Redbank 23, 4. Norths 23.

2nd Division: 1. Brothers 32, 2. Goodna 27, 3. Swifts 25, 4. Fassifern 23, 5. Norths 17.

Top two to play off in grand final.

Ashes excitement to keep you awake

HOPEFULLY everyone watching the Ashes have caught up on their sleep after a fabulous Aussie win in the First Test.

After day one, the naysayers were bagging the team for the selections of certain players, in particular Peter Siddle in place of Mitchell Starc.

Day two probably swung the Poms' way with our bowlers doing a decent job of containing them to a lead that could be manageable.

After day three, the game was back on a neutral edge for both teams with the Aussies having seven wickets in hand and a lead of 34 runs.

Day four was all Australia with Smith and Wade absolutely destroying the English attack to both score twin centuries giving us a huge shot at victory.

It would now be up to the bowlers to bang the last few nails into the coffin. Up stepped Nathan Lyon (six wickets) and Pat Cummins (four wickets) to skittle the Poms for 146.

It was a great start to the Ashes series. Terrific performances were put in by several Aussie players but Steve Smith stood well above the rest.

He may have a terrible technique but his hand-eye coordination is up their with the best in world cricket.

He finished the game with a century in both innings (144 and 142) to show that he has lost nothing in his time away from the game.

We are 1-0 up in a best-of- five series so no champagne corks have popped just yet but we will go into the Lords Test on the August 14 with supreme confidence of winning.

Quick thoughts

SAINTS: 1. It's not often that an umpire gets a guard of honour when he leaves the field but AFL umpire Shane McInerney did in his 500th game. Special praise to Richmond and Melbourne for the great gesture.

2. This man is always in the sinners section but accolades when they are due. Nick Kyrgios produced some great tennis to win the Washington Open. Nobody doubts his talent but his mental approach during most games is not up to standard. He said he has taken massive strides forward. Time will be the answer to this.

Sinners: 1. The Gold Coast Titans are a team in disarray. Normally when the coach is sacked the team improves to show it wasn't his fault. The Titans have got worse since Garth Brennan was shown the door.

Did you know? 1. The longest suspension handed out in AFL is 99 games. Carlton players Doug Fraser and Alex Lang received the penalties for bribery in 1910.

2. Jim Stynes holds the record for most consecutive games. It's hard to believe he stayed injury free for 244 in a row.

Bomber's best: While my tip last week didn't win, it did run a great third at eachway odds.

This week I have found a horse that will street the opposition. It's in Melbourne tomorrow: Race 1 No 2 Sopressa.