Outstanding Ipswich women to inspire Eagles men at home
AUSSIE RULES: As if the prospect of being eliminated from this year's playoffs wasn't enough incentive, the Ipswich Eagles have plenty of extra motivation tomorrow at Limestone Park.
Seeing the Ipswich Eagles women win the club's first grand final last Sunday has given the men a new challenge to tackle in this year's QFA Division 3 finals.
The Eagles have to beat Kedron in Saturday afternoon's semi-final at Mark Marsh Oval to continue their quest to qualify for another grand final.
Eagles head coach Kym Mansell said his team could take lessons out of how the Ipswich women peaked at the perfect time.
"They were outstanding,'' Mansell said having watched the Eagles unite to upset competition leaders Moreton Bay 39-19.
"I had goosebumps halfway through the game.
"It was such an even team in that grand final.
"All year, they probably had four or five outstanding players. On Sunday, they were just so even across the field, they just dominated every position. The opposition didn't have a look-in.''
Mansell is confident his team has the quality to deliver a similar dominant display after only losing by four points to second-placed Wynnum last weekend.
A key factor in that game was Eagles' disappointing goal kicking, booting 21 behinds.
"I can't fault our effort last week,'' he said. "It was just goal kicking, clutch moments.''
Returning to the Eagles home base at Mark Marsh Oval on Saturday should help rectify that problem.
"The big wide spaces on our ground will suit us,'' he said.
An added boost is winning for ever-dependable midfielder Keith Brick who plays his 100th game tomorrow.
"He is an outstanding player,'' Mansell said of the regular QFA best and fairest award winner.
"He's the best player in the competition by a mile.
"He's been our best player in the competition,'' Mansell said, keen to ensure it's not his last match for the club.
Mansell was monitoring two key players on the eve of the semi-final.
Wing/forward Fraser Bishop is battling a hip flexor injury and Simon O'Donnell has been ill the past fortnight.
With regular top team players Mick Lyons and Gary Williamson returning after missing last weekend's game, Mansell expected to field a full strength side.
Even with Kedron planning some strategic player moves, Mansell was upbeat about the final.
"That doesn't really worry us,'' he said. "Two or three guys don't make a difference when you're playing against a side like ours.
"If we play like last week, we'll win. As long as we kick straight.''
The winner of Saturday's final tackles the victor of the second semi between Moreton Bay and Wynnum in the preliminary final.
State of play
QFA Division 3: Saturday (2pm) - Semi-final 1: Ipswich Eagles v Kedron at Limestone Park.
Semi-final 2: Moreton Bay v Wynnum at Moreton Bay (winner advances to grand final).