Former Jet Wes Conlon is a massive inclusion for Brothers ahead of the Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade season.
Former Jet Wes Conlon is a massive inclusion for Brothers ahead of the Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade season. Rob Williams

RLI clubs continuing trials ahead of Round 1

LOCAL rugby league returns to the playing fields of Ipswich this weekend with three RLI clubs to play their first trial games for the year.

Brothers will be out to see some new recruits take the field with three games to be played against Brisbane Valleys: Second Division at 3pm, Reserve Grade at 4.30pm and A-Grade at 6pm.

The West End Bulldogs also have several new players donning the jersey for the first time, and coach Jae Woodward will be out to see how they fair in game time against Redlands: Reserve Grade 5pm, A-Grade at 6.30pm.

Swifts Bluebirds will also play their first trial, against Southport Tigers across three grades: 2.30pm for the U20s, followed by Reserve Grade at 4pm and A-Grade kick-off at 5.30pm.

All coaches will trial new players in different positions to see what best suits before Round 1, beginning the weekend of March 9.

Rugby League Ipswich Preview

Brothers

Why they can win

Have the greatest depth in the competition and have only added to that this year with the signings of some quality players The addition of ex-Jet Wes Conlon means they will have one of the best attacking players in the comp and a top goalkicker. A professional outfit that seem to do all the little things right. Coach Connors won't have been happy with last year and will be out to make amends.

Why they can't win

The lose one of their best forwards in Jake O'Doherty. It will mean that else will have to put their hand up to do the tough stuff. Have they got anyone for that? Time will tell. Lack a quality half at present which means someone else will have to lead the side around the park. Discipline was a problem on occasions last season in losing some close games.

My Thoughts

I see the Brethren being right in the Premiership race. Conlon will be the calming influence at the back and his kicking will be vital over the season. The forwards will have to up their work rate to allow the exciting backline to do their thing.

Fassifern

Why they can win

Last year's title win will have give the Bombers huge confidence going into this year for a repeat. Have a great coach in Daniel Roos who will not be resting on last year's win. Aaron Adcock will be a vital part of their defence of the title and if the overseas players fire then they will surely be Premiership favourites again.

Why they can't win

A Premiership win is always hard to back up and some reports around town suggest several overseas players will not be returning. If this happens then several Reserve Grade players will be asked to step straight into A-Grade and perform.

My Thoughts

The Bombers will get some overseas players but the amount is not certain which means their task for back-to-back titles will be hard to obtain. Will definitely start the season slow and warm up as it gets longer. I haven't completely ruled them out of the title race. Will heavily depend on the quality of imports.

Hero of the week

1. Dylan Wenzel-Halls has shown over the last two games that he is definitely an A-League calibre player, scoring two superb goals. The 21-year-old has a big future ahead of him.

2. Ipswich sporting superstar Ash Barty continues to represent Ipswich and Australia on the world tennis stage with three superb performances in victory over the USA in the Fed Cup.

Villain of the week

1. West Indian fast bowler Shannon Gabriel for his alleged homophobic slur. He was rightly charged and if found guilty will face punishment. This type of language is not needed in any sport.

Did you know?

1. Shaquille O'Neal only made one three-point shot in his career.

2. The shortest and tallest NBA players once played for the same team in the Washington Bullets. The tallest being Manute Bol and the shortest being Muggsy Bogues.

Bomber's Best

I TIPPED the top three EPL teams to win and they did just that. This week in the NBL, Sydney and Brisbane will be the victors on Saturday.

Headlines