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Obee's TRL Preview: Round 5

Andrew O'Brien - Toowoomba Rugby League QRL Correspondent

TRL Toowoomba hero

Teams can lose their momentum after a break, especially on the training paddock. Players’ minds can be elsewhere and coaches dread this time of the season, especially with another break next weekend due to the 47th Battalion carnival.

Wattles, Warwick, Highfields and Gatton need wins this weekend to stay in touch with competition leaders Pittsworth and Dalby.

Losses will hurt, even this early in the season.

Wattles Warriors v Highfields Eagles
6.30pm Saturday, April 22
Platz Oval Clifton

This game is shaping up to be a beauty.
Highfields will be looking to avenge their defeat last round against the Hawks whilst the Wattles are still finding their feet in the competition.
My spies tell me that Matt Duggan trained well on Tuesday night and is half a chance of playing for the Warriors but watch this space … irrespective, I just can’t work Wattles out.
Their form is hard to follow as they were thrashed by Dalby, yet played well against Pittsworth and Souths.
Highfields performed well against the Hawks prior to the Easter break, but their lapses were worse than the opposition.
The Eagles lost Nick Bainbridge early in the second half and I don’t think the rest of his team-mates realised how much they missed him. One thing his team-mates didn’t do was stand up when he was gone.
They’ve also lost Rahari Peeti, which is a huge loss both on and off the field.
I’m tipping Highfields in a close one.

The Obee and Cookie Call will be live from 5.30pm.

Gatton Hawks v Pittsworth Danes
6.30pm Saturday, April 22
Cahill Park Sporting Complex Gatton

We’ll see how good Pittsworth are in this game as the Gatton v Pittsworth games are always close.
I expect the Danes to be firm favourites as they are the most consistent team in the competition in all facets especially their lack of mistakes.
They are probably playing one of the most inconsistent teams in the comp but the Hawks did play well last start.
A home crowd is an opportunity for the Hawks to put their stamp on the competition and will need to be good right across the paddock if they are to beat the premiers.
This is a danger game for the Danes.
They have started the season well with only the Wattles any spirited competition.
Dempsey and O’Sullivan are the key with Millar and York the two who keep the roll going and will be relying on their big names to fire to get over the Hawks.
This should also be a ripper of a game, but the Danes should win with only a try in it.

Warwick Cowboys v Valleys Roosters
2.30pm Sunday, April 23
Father Ranger Oval Warwick

Both these teams are different from last season.
Warwick and Valleys are at the stage where new combinations are settling down and forming a sound structure. 
Cowboys’ Dylan Galloway will be the difference in this game.
If he chimes in well from the back or centre, Warwick will go a long way to winning.
I was impressed with young Valleys hooker Nathan Bowering in his last start against the Hawks.
His ability to keep his team on a roll was really impressive.
The Cowboys have some good second phase players in Cantwell, Fuimaono and Bloomfield so this game will have everything.
I just think Warwick has had players in key positions longer than Valleys so it’s Warwick by a whisker in my tips.

Toowoomba Brothers v Oakey Bears
2.30pm Sunday, April 23
Glenholme Park Toowoomba

It will be a brave Brothers coach to not have the A team on the park in this game.
It was only a couple of games ago when their depth in the club was exposed, but the Brethren have been able to turn it around in the last few games, particularly with a win against Souths.
Oakey started badly against the Cowboys in their first game and had a bad case of stage fright.
Warwick were good, but Oakey can improve as Cookie, Nutz and I saw some good periods of play from the Bears last round.
I’m still tipping Brothers as they need the win more than Oakey at this stage of the competition.

Goondiwindi Boars v Dalby Diehards
Hutchies Match of the Round
2.30pm Sunday, April 23
Gilbert's Oval Goondiwindi

The Obee and Cookie Call travels to Goondiwindi for a ‘David and Goliath’ battle.
The bottom-placed Goondiwindi take on Dalby who have had only 14 points scored against them in three games.
Why are we going to call this perceived dead-rubber?
Because Goondiwindi are an integral part of the competition and if you are yet to travel to Goondiwindi, do yourself a favour and make the trip. You will be really impressed.
They have awesome facilities and a great viewing complex plus results don’t always tell you how a side plays each week.
It will be a big ask against one of the form sides in the competition but I know they will give a good showing.
Dalby, on the other hand are in sparkling form beating some good sides.
It is a dream start to the season for the Diehards and I expect them to win handsomely.

The Obee and Cookie Call will be live from 1.30pm.

Follow all of the Round 5 action on the Toowoomba Rugby League website.