Goodna flyer Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga scores another try in his team’s latest victory against Valleys last weekend. Picture: Nev Madsen
Goodna flyer Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga scores another try in his team’s latest victory against Valleys last weekend. Picture: Nev Madsen

Norths in spotlight hoping for more success to celebrate


Anthony Breeze

NORTHS won a nailbiter, West End lost in the final minutes and the Goodna Eagles continued their undefeated run in Toowoomba.

This week, the Volunteers Cup rugby league competition returns to Ipswich with some entertaining match-ups are on the cards.

Here is how Saturday's games at Norths ground shape up.

1.30pm Souths v Valleys

Souths returned to the winner's circle with victory over West End.

Valleys lost a very entertaining, high scoring affair to Goodna last weekend.

Souths showed what they can do when they hold the ball. They will again be on alert against a speedy Roosters outfit.

The Tigers will be hoping that their forward pack, led by Jacob Whittaker and Mitch Murphy, can continue their great form in the middle. If they can, it will go a long way to them causing a huge upset.

They also have pace out wide and must get the ball to their top try scorer in Blake Lollback who knows where the tryline is.

Although beaten last week, Valleys showed they are right up there as one of the premiership favourites. They definitely have more improvement in them.

The Roosters forward pack matched it with the Eagles and if they bring this form this week then Souths could be in for a long day.

Dwayne Duncan was great out wide and his goal kicking was absolutely superb. It's a huge bonus when a four-pointer is nearly all of the time increased to six.

The Roosters look too big and too strong for the Tigers this week. If Souths don't compete for the entire match then a big score could be on the cards.

3.30pm West End v Gatton

The West End Bulldogs are a coach's nightmare, suffering their fourth close loss last weekend.

Gatton succumbed to Norths in a low scoring game.

This match promises to be another close game with the Bulldogs hoping to have the services of half Israel Oti back from suspension to guide them around.

West End looked lost on occasions last weekend. Their last play options were poor, putting no pressure on their opposition.

If Oti can change this, the Bulldogs are a big chance of tasting success, something that has eluded them in previous weeks.

West End also have to contain their discipline which was sadly lacking last week.

Gatton are a grinding team and play no frills football which nearly got them a win against the third placed Norths outfit.

Shannon Hicks returned last week and when he is in the team they are a much more potent side in attack and defence.

The ageless Michael Frohloff doesn't do any of the flashy stuff but is a man who leads from the front with a 80 minute effort every week. If the Hawks are to win this one, he will be called on to produce another wholehearted effort.

I am tipping the Bulldogs in another tight game with them finally on the right side of the scoreboard.

Goodna's Trivendra Naidu is tackled just before the try line in last weekend’s Volunteers Cup clash with Valleys. Picture: Nev Madsen
Goodna's Trivendra Naidu is tackled just before the try line in last weekend’s Volunteers Cup clash with Valleys. Picture: Nev Madsen

5.30pm Norths v Goodna

Norths sit comfortably in third after a win over Gatton.

Goodna just keep on winning and remain undefeated after six rounds.

The Tigers are at home and will be celebrating that magic Day from 1980 when the club won the Grand Slam.

Norths must contain the Goodna forward pack early or they will face an uphill battle from the get go.

Kyle Blackman, Lopi Folau and Blake Olive must control the bigger Eagles forwards and if they do so then their backline can cause some havoc out wide.

Discipline will be a key for Norths plus getting to the end of their sets in good field position. For Goodna to win, they must change nothing. Their pack have been strong in the middle enabling their backline to run riot over opponents.

One player running riot is fullback Besse Aufaga-Toomaga who has shown all his class from the start of this season.

Aufaga-Toomaga has also been in superb goal kicking form, piloting kicks over from all parts of the field.

He however has not been a lone figure with young centre Elone Taufa and winger Fa'ata'ape Timai finishing off several backline raids.

Norths have a special day planned for the champions returning but I feel that won't be enough to get them over the top of a strong Goodna outfit.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. The Brisbane Lions have continued their great form to sit equal top and look likely to play at the Gabba for their semi-final and maybe the grand final.

2. The West Coast Eagles have won the first award of the season. That is the most memberships for 2020. They had an increase from 90,445 to 100,776 members.

3. The great start to the season from the Ipswich Hornets sides. Two great wins and a lot more to come if early season form remains.

NEGATIVES: 1. Novak Djokovic hits a linesperson in the throat with a ball and is sensational disqualified from the US Open. He did the crime and now must take all the sanctions coming his way.

2. West Tigers duo Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer set a poor example for the rest of the squad by leaving at halftime of their clash against Manly. As the two highest paid players at the club it was a very ordinary look.

3. The Chad Townsend tackle was a deadset shoulder charge. He has three weeks to think about his error in judgment.

Sporting birthdays

1. 1945: Franz Beckenbauer - German soccer great regarded as one of the best ever.

2. 1950: Barry Sheene - British motorcycle racer who won two consecutive world titles in 1976/77.

On this day

1. 1895: The FA Cup is stolen from a Birmingham shop window. It was on display courtesy of competition holders Aston Villa.

2. 1951: Florence Chadwick becomes the first female to swim the English Channel. It took her 16 hours and 19 minutes.

3. 1976: Chris Evert thrashes Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6-3, 6-0 to retain her US Open Crown.

4. 1985: Sri Lanka achieve their first Test victory, defeating India by 149 runs.