Stags on alert for Bears

THE form book points to the Lowood Tarampa Stags progressing to the second week of Challenge Cup semi-finals, having beaten Redbank Plains Bears 26-10 at their last start on August 13.

The two teams meet again on Saturday in the elimination semi-final, with the loser planning for next season.

Yet experienced Stags halfback Glen Torpy knows strange things can happen in finals football.

“We scored a late try that made the scoreboard look more in our favour,” Torpy said of their last meeting with the Bears.

“We can still improve on that.

“It's going to be a tough game.”

Which is not to say he isn't confident in his team's prospects.

“With our new patterns of play, Harro (coach John Harrison) has got us going.

“We've got a new purpose to go out and play.”

Helping are the best numbers the club has had turning up to training all season.

It will all count for little, however, if the Stags don't look after the ball.

“Ball control,” Torpy said when asked the key to victory.

“We've had a lot of problems with that all year.

“We'd score a try then the next play stuff it up with a dropped ball.

“But the guys have been concentrating on that hard.”

As halfback and his team's senior statesman, Torpy will have the job of keeping his teammates' minds on their jobs.

“I've got to direct the boys around,” he said. “Show them which direction to go and the way to do it.

“Hopefully I've still got the legs to get them through.”

Torpy is one of just three players in the team to have completed every game this season.

“I'm still enjoying it but this is definitely my last year,” he said.

“I've been coaching the juniors and Diggers this year so with a bit of that next year and family commitments, it will keep me busy.”

A premiership would be the perfect way to go out but Torpy knows it would be foolish to look beyond this weekend.

“Semi-finals are a totally different game,” he said.

“I've seen sides that haven't beaten sides lift on the day.”

On Sunday, Springfield meets Rosewood in the Challenge Cup qualifying semi-final, the winner going straight into the grand final.

In under-18s, Norths play Goodna in the elimination semi on Saturday. Redbank Plains tackle Brothers 1 in Sunday's qualifying semi.

All finals matches are at the North Ipswich Reserve.