Rangers focus on one stronger squad in 50th year
CELEBRATING the club's 50th anniversary, the Ipswich Rangers are focusing their energies on one top senior team in this year's Brisbane club rugby competition.
Rangers have dropped down from the Barber and Pegg Cup competitions to contest this season's Division 2 Scotney Cup series.
An opening round 50-7 victory over the Brisbane Hustlers before Easter gave Rangers a confidence boost for the year ahead.
However, vice-captain Jarred Lacey said his team expected plenty of tough encounters.
"There's still some teams in there that are Barber (Cup) quality,'' he said.
They include last year's Barber Cup and Pegg Cup winners Pine Rivers who, like Rangers, have also decided to focus on one team this season.
Everton Park and Redcliffe are other suburban clubs likely to pose a threat.
"It's just the state of rugby union. It's hard to get two teams,'' Lacey said.
Preparing for Saturday's second round match against newcomers Forest Lake at Forest Lake, Lacey said Rangers were keen to rebuild this year.
He said Rangers wanted to enjoy their 50th year by being competitive.
"It's good just to concentrate on the one team and build a good quality squad,'' he said having been with Rangers since 2010.
As acting captain, Lacey said the first-up victory over Hustlers was pleasing, especially as they kept Rangers forwards quiet for 20 minutes before the Ipswich team's attack finished the job.
Right wing Thomas McDonald and substitute Siaka King crossed for two tries.
Left wing Benjamin Heinze kicked five conversions to complete the dominant performance.
"To get over the top of them and only let in one try . . . and for us to put on 50 points as well showed our attack was doing what we wanted to do,'' Lacey said.
"We are still building. It was only our second game together (after a pre-season trial in the wet against Toowoomba Rangers).''
In their 50th year, Rangers are also fielding a team in the Friday night competition, giving some club stalwarts an opportunity to enjoy the game.
As Rangers' top side concentrates on the Scotney Cup, other regional clubs Springfield and Goodna are fielding teams in this year's Barber Cup and Pegg Cup competitions.
Springfield open their new season against Maroochydore at Springfield on Saturday (3pm) as Goodna host Caloundra at Evan Marginson Park at the same time.