See how Ipswich's powerhouse sides measure up
THE Rugby League Ipswich senior finals kick off this week-end with plenty of fascinating match-ups.
Saturday's games are between the first and second-placed sides.
A Grade: Brothers v Goodna.
The winner of this clash receives the advantage and moves into the grand final as favourites.
Although Brothers finished minor premiers, their efforts over the past few games were not up to their usual high standards.
Goodna had a lull period in the middle of the season but look to have timed their run to perfection going into this semi.
The Brethern will more than likely welcome back some star players who have been missing for a few weeks, which will make them a formidable outfit. They like this time of year and have a lot of players who have been on the big stage before.
The Eagles also have big-game experienced players who will look to exploit Brothers through the middle where they have attacked them in previous encounters.
For Brothers to win, they need to slow the tackle down and not allow the Eagles big forwards to get a roll on.
For Goodna to win, they need to play some disciplined football and control the ball when they have it in their hands.
Watch out for Wes Conlon to inject himself into the Brothers backline when needed and the flashy Goodna centre Brett Kelly to play a huge part if the Eagles are to win.
Reserve Grade: Goodna v Brothers.
These teams have been the top two for the entire season and this one promises to be a classic affair.
Brothers are always strong in Reserve Grade due to their great depth. They have several players who have won premierships in this grade over the past few years, which will hold them in good stead going into this game.
Goodna also have been in great form and will look to their forwards to make an impact early.
These sides have met on three occasions this year with Brothers winning round one before the Eagles got up in rounds two and three.
Under 20: Brothers v Goodna.
Brothers and Goodna have been the dominant two sides in this grade for most of the year.
They have met on six occasions with the Eagles winning rounds one and two, Brothers taking out rounds three and four and Goodna hitting back in the two most recent games.
The winner of this clash will be the team that turns up and plays simple football and is willing to work themselves into the game. Discipline will also play a big part.
Brothers player to watch is half Taj Hinton, who must lead them around the park.
For the Eagles, Peter Maseesee has been in superb form.
Sunday's finals are between the third and fourth-placed sides.
A Grade: Swifts v Redbank.
Swifts go into this clash in great form after they dismantled the strong Brothers outfit in the final fixture of the year.
Redbank have lost form with only one win over the past month. That was a narrow victory over the woodenspooners.
Swifts will look to start the game faster than they have in most games this year or they might find themselves out of this one early.
The Bluebirds have a forward pack up with the best in the league and will need them to fire up early and keep the pressure on the Bears.
Redbank were in sublime form in the middle of the season which was mainly due to their forwards dominating their opposition. Some of their speedy backs have been capitalising on this momentum.
The Bears must get back to basics and run the bigger Swifts pack around if they hope to taste success in this one.
Players to watch include Godfrey Okot and Farren Willett for Redbank and Swifts duo Jake O'Doherty and Ratu Vatuinaruku.
Reserve Grade: Fassifern v Swifts.
Fassifern go into this semi-final as strong favourites after defeating Swifts on all three occasions this year.
Fassifern also have a draw against minor premiers Goodna this year and have found the right time of form heading into the final series.
Swifts were handed a thrashing by Brothers in their last fixture but must forget about that game and look to dominate a Bombers outfit that has started to gel nicely.
Both teams have attacking weapons with Michael Hayes (20 tries) and Ned David (19 tries) both leading their teams for four pointers.
Under 20: Redbank v Norths.
Redbank go into this game with far superior form than the Tigers.
The last time these teams met the Bears dished out a 52-10 thrashing.
Norths failed to field a team in their last fixture two weeks ago.
Redbank can play some exciting football on their day and must not turn up expecting to win this easily.
For the Tigers to cause an upset, they will rely on the consistent August Tolova'a and Xavier Michael to lead them around the park.
The Bears will look to their top try and points scorer Adeba Hassan to inspire victory.
SAINTS: 1. What a fantastic effort by the Ipswich Eagles women's team in winning their grand final. I am not sure at the start of the season they thought they would go this far but it was a fantastic team performance.
2. Ipswich has a proud netball history and this it will be showcased again with two Ipswich teams qualifying for tonight's grand final. Good luck to the Ipswich Flyers and the Goodna Sapphires.
3. How could you not include Ben Stokes after his unbelievable match-winning innings to lead the Poms to victory. You won't see match better.
Sinners: 1. The organisers of the Boomers v USA clash in Game 1. The tickets were overpriced and the view of the game was absolutely terrible. A full refund should have been given to all that attended.
Did you know? 1. Major League Baseball umpires are required to wear black underwear while officiating, in case they split their pants.
2. The home team must supply the referee with 36 footballs before an NFL game can commence.
Bomber's best: After a great few weeks of tipping, I finally came unstuck, with the Broncos losing to the Rabbits and the Storm not flogging the Titans.
Tomorrow, check out a horse in super form: Eagle Farm Race 3 No 7 Ocean Addict.