TENACIOUS TEAM: The Ipswich Eagles players and coaching staff who are preparing for Sunday's QFAW Division 2 North grand final at Yeronga.
TENACIOUS TEAM: The Ipswich Eagles players and coaching staff who are preparing for Sunday's QFAW Division 2 North grand final at Yeronga. Rob Williams

Why Eagles like flying under the grand final radar

PREPARING for her fourth footy grand final, Ipswich Eagles recruit Stephanie Cockerill-Wright knows what it is like to be underdogs.

However, she hopes that works in Ipswich's favour when they tackle competition leaders Hinterland in Sunday's QFAW Division 2 North grand final at Yeronga.

Melbourne born and bred Cockerill-Wright has been one of the Eagles' most potent defenders in her first season with the Ipswich club.

But from 11 years of playing, she brings an additional mindset having won two of her three previous grand finals.

Her first victory was in Victoria before a second success in 2016 in Canberra.

"We were the underdogs again,'' she said, relating those wins to Ipswich's status this weekend.

"Hopefully another underdogs story will come this year.

"It's been brilliant. Especially into the finals, everyone has come together really well.

"It's really good to watch and see.''

 

Ipswich Eagles QFAW preliminary final V Moorooka at Mark Marsh Oval on Saturday.
The Ipswich Eagles run onto the field before winning last Saturday's preliminary final over Moorooka. Rob Williams

Cockerill-Wright has played footy since 2006, only having a couple of years off when she was in the navy.

After a stint with defensive teammate Lara Boon at the Beenleigh Buffaloes, she was made welcome when invited by the Eagles to join a developing team this season.

"Lara and I work really well together,'' Cockerill-Wright said.

"We seem to read each other quite well and understand who is going where and what play is going to happen.''

That familiarity will be vital against Hinterland in Sunday's 10am match.

But of the two matches Hinterland lost in 14 encounters this year, one was against the Eagles.

"They tend to be a very physical side, especially if the ball is not going in their favour,'' she said.

"They have a lot of speed and a do have a lot of strength so hopefully our legs are able to keep up with them.''

 

Ipswich Eagles QFAW preliminary final V Moorooka at Mark Marsh Oval on Saturday. Samantha Chisholm.
Samantha Chisholm booted three goals for the Eagles in their preliminary final win. Rob Williams

Cockerill-Wright hopes Ipswich gains an advantage with their grand final rivals having extra travel time to Yeronga.

But after her team's polished preliminary final victory over Moorooka last weekend, she wants to keep a measured approach to Ipswich's bid for a first grand final victory.

"It's nice to put a bit of a shock under the opposing teams,'' she said.

"Hopefully we can get there and be ready for them and they won't know what hit them.

"We're feeling good.''

QFAW Division 2 North grand final: Sunday (10am) - Ipswich Eagles v Hinterland at Leyshon Park, Yeronga.