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Obee's TRL Preview: Playoffs

Andrew O'Brien - Toowoomba Rugby League QRL Correspondent

TRL Toowoomba hero

We have just come up for air after an enthralling final round. 

This year’s competition has been wonderful and tonight’s playoffs will see nothing different.

Gatton Hawks v Southern Suburbs Tigers
Criterion Hotel Finals Series Playoff
7pm Wednesday, August 9
Glenholme Park Toowoomba

These two teams will continue their epic final round contest when they meet up again in this mid-week playoff for an appointment with Pittsworth on Sunday.
The interesting thing about this game is it a short time between the last time they met.
In all rugby league matches, coaches spend halftime pointing out weaknesses and strengths in the opposing side.
Given the match last Sunday is fresh in their minds, teams will be working on their mistakes and game plans.
Gatton look like they will be without playmaker Josh Ryan who suffered a knee injury last weekend.
Dennis Burgoyne will also be racing against the clock to be fit.
Burgoyne was certainly carrying an injury into last Sunday’s clash and Gatton coach Nikki-John Harch would have to be thinking that 17 fresh fit players are essential.
Souths are coming off a tremendous win away and their confidence will be undoubted coming into this playoff final.
They too have their injury concerns; winger Hugo Mortenson is out with a broken wrist, as is Sam Cocker and Luke Nolan has nursed his ankle throughout the latter part of the season.
The Tigers also have young gun Kyle Peterson facing the judiciary prior to the match.
The loss of Souths’ Cocker and the anticipated loss of Gatton’s Burgoyne cancel each other out.
Ryan can be covered by Callum Woolacott moving to halfback, pushing Billy Jackwitz to fullback and Dom Haak to five-eighth for the Hawks.
By his own admission, Gatton’s strongman Allan Morris can play better this weekend with Francis Han peaking and Cam Nicolls also in good form.
For the Tigers, Dwayne Duncan will again be the x-factor in this match and his combination with Tom Landers and Tyrell McCullough will be a key as well.
That leaves the forwards and even the bench players that may decide this match.
Han and Whittaker have been in scintillating form.
All in all, this will be another epic affair as both sides have similar strike weapons and like free-flowing games – tonight should be no different.
It will come down to who does their homework the best after Sunday’s game.
If Gatton can go back to the basics in defence, they will go a long way to winning the game.
My spies tell me it’s their desire that needs to lift.
I’m tipping Gatton in a close one.

The Obee and Cookie Call will be live from 6.30pm.

Southern Suburbs Tigers v Warwick Cowboys
Reserve Grade Playoff

7pm Wednesday, August 9
Glenholme Park Toowoomba

The last time these two met was in Round 13.
Both sides have different players fronting up tonight night, but on that occasion, Souths contested well up until halftime until Warwick edged ahead to win 26-14 at home.
It was way back in Round 2 when Souths won 40-10 over the Cowboys at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
Both teams have been in different form and I have only seen a handful of games this season.
One of those games was a spirited win with Souths defeating Valleys a couple of weeks ago.
Warwick has also had good wins, namely last weekend against the Eagles.
Each side have experienced players sprinkled throughout their teams; Aaron McVeigh and Josh McIntosh for the Cowboys and Djarwyn Burns and Jeb Jerome for the Tigers.
This game will also be a very close encounter but I’m tipping Warwick only because Souths also have their A Grade side playing tonight and have a couple of players stepping up. 

Follow all the Finals Series action on the Toowoomba Rugby League website.