Tenacious Rangers welcome major home clash
RUGBY: With two wins from their opening four games, the Ipswich Rangers are still finding their feet in this year's Scotney Cup competition.
However, a spirited 50-19 victory over Redcliffe on Saturday showed the Rangers have plenty of fighting spirit even with some players away.
"It was backs against the wall,'' acting captain Jarred Lacey said after the Ipswich team's latest trip to Redcliffe.
"It was a good win.''
Being short on numbers due to work and family commitments, the Rangers team of 18 players rallied together.
Left flanker Kieran Lake added his name to Rangers' try-scoring list this season with a double.
Lacey said long-serving Rangers player Lake did "an awesome job'' after he toughed it out having hurt his leg a week earlier.
"He's a real workhorse,'' the acting captain said.
Scrum half Thomas McDonald and substitute So Junior Aoele also crossed twice.
Aoele was sick through the week, also earning praise for helping out his team.
Left centre Lacey booted five conversions from eight attempts in the windy and rainy conditions.
"We were missing a few, and had a few with niggling injuries and sick, and we still managed to put on a good performance,'' Lacey said.
However, making stronger starts is an area Lacey pinpointed as needing more attention.
"We have no issues scoring tries. We've just got to start a bit better each game,'' he said.
That was highlighted in Rangers' earlier 33-31 loss to Forest Lake and going down 48-5 to Riverside.
Lacey rated Forest Lake "really big and strong''.
"We just got a bit in the trap of giving away silly penalties,'' he said.
Against Riverside, the Rangers "didn't show up at all.''
"We didn't work together as a team and didn't work for each other,'' he said.
"I reckon we'll get them back next time we play them.''
Rangers opened their season with a 50-7 win over the Brisbane Hustlers, after dropping down from the Barber and Pegg Cup competitions last year.
"The table is sorting itself out,'' Lacey said.
"Some of the clubs are good suburban rugby clubs and they've been around for a few years and have good programs in place.''
Rangers are currently in third place.
Lacey said Saturday afternoon's home clash against undefeated second-placed Red-lands would provide a better indication of where Rangers were placed in this season's rankings.
That match is at 3pm at Woodend.
With Rangers preparing to host 50 year celebrations, Lacey said the club was also happy to have a team playing in the Friday night Wyatt Cup competition.
The Ipswich team beat Beaudesert 42-5 in their latest clash after an opening round loss.
The team features a number of Rangers Old Boys.
In this year's Barber Cup competition, Goodna and Springfield have endured mixed results.
Goodna were nudged out 13-12 by Noosa in their latest game on Saturday after earlier losses to Caloundra (23-22) and University of the Sunshine Coast (36-18).
Springfield lost its first two games - 24-12 to Maroochydore and 19-10 to Caloundra.