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Obee's TRL Preview: Round 8

Andrew O'Brien - Toowoomba Rugby League QRL Correspondent

TRL Toowoomba hero

The top four sides play each other this weekend, allowing the teams below them to catch up some ground, particularly for Gatton, Souths and Warwick.

The big games of Valleys v Highfields and Dalby v Pittsworth should attract plenty of interest around Toowoomba this weekend.

Brothers Leprechauns v Warwick Cowboys
6.30pm Saturday, May 20
Glenholme Park Toowoomba

Where to go from here for the Brethren?
They are having their first home game in a while to reignite their season.
On paper, they still have plenty of ticker in them and should give a better showing this weekend.
Warwick finally showed some fight last round when they beat the in-form Gatton.
If they can get away with the two points this weekend, their draw is not as tough as it was moving forward. Warwick to keep going for me.

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

Gatton Hawks v Goondiwindi Boars
6.30pm Saturday, May 20
Cahill Park Sporting Complex Gatton

The longest journey in our competition is when these two teams meet.
You would be a brave person to back against the Hawks in this match, however I’m told it was a brutal battle against the Cowboys last weekend and their injury list is growing.
I suggest the Boars are refreshed after the bye and given Gatton’s bruises, they certainly will be more healthier. I’m tipping Gatton to return to the winner’s circle.

Oakey Bears v Southern Suburbs Tigers
2.30pm Sunday, May 21
Trevor Mickleborough Field Oakey

The Bears have been waiting for this game all year.
Their side has former Tigers players and they will be looking to play well against their former club.
Souths were dynamic against the competition leaders in foggy conditions last weekend.
They will be looking at keeping their momentum against the Bears. The Tigers should win.

Valleys Roosters v Highfields Eagles
2.30pm Sunday, May 21
Herb Steinhort Oval Toowoomba

I expect nothing to be left out on the field on Sunday afternoon when the fulltime hooter sounds.
Both teams have in-form players right across the park including on their benches.
I believe the game will be decided in the spine, more specifically in three key positions: hooker, halfback and five-eighth.
Lee, Bainbridge and George have been playing together for a while now and are comfortable and confident with each other whereas Stevens, Seymour and Bowering are in excellent form.
It could also be up front that influences the match.
Steven Rodgers played very well for the Roosters last week and the Highfields forward pack never die wondering.
All in all, this should be a game of attrition and as they say, if in doubt, go the home side so I’ll tip Valleys to crow in the battle of the birds.

Dalby Diehards v Pittsworth Danes
Hutchies Match of the Round
2.30pm Sunday, May 21
Dalby Leagues Club

The Danes’ loss last week took a little bit of polish off this much-anticipated match, but Pittsworth won the premiership on the back of some great turnaround wins last season.
Expect them to be ready to play this weekend.
They did not start well last weekend against Valleys and they are a side that play on confidence.
Additionally, they can surge during games as well so make no mistake, the Danes will come to play.
Dalby will need to improve after last week’s fright against Souths.
Their kicking game needs to improve but they have no problem with their defence.
They can tackle for many repeat sets.
Wardrop has instilled an excellent defensive work ethic.
James Dempsey is a chance to return this weekend as Pittsworth missed him last week.
Dylan Taylor has come of age this season and will be a handful on Sunday afternoon for the Danes.
Pittsworth Captain Daniel York will be smarting from last week’s loss so look for him to step it up.
There are some wonderful contests right across the park and this match will be a bottler.
In a close one, it’s Dalby to stay undefeated in my tips. 

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

Follow all of the Round 8 action on the Toowoomba Rugby League website.