AFTER a tight loss to Ipswich last Friday night, the Souths Logan Magpies get the chance to atone against Cyril Connell Cup champions the Norths Devils on Saturday.
The 16-8 defeat at the hands of a committed Ipswich team was the Magpies’ first blemish in four games.
But with the regular Connell Cup season run over a short and explosive seven-week period, there isn’t room for many more slip ups if the Magpies want to be part of the semi-final action in late April/May.
Magpies coach Lincoln McLeod is well aware of that scenario and concedes their season is now “on the line” each week.
But McLeod is comforted by his players’ character; and their dedication and commitment to training.
Having been with the side since the pre-season slog in early November, he knows they will hit the ground running on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
“The training has been very impressive,” he said.
“That’s one area that gives me confidence that the boys can turn around the result from last week.”
Heading into the round 5 match, the Magpies have a share of the competition lead alongside the Easts Tigers and Ipswich.
All three teams are on six competition points, with Easts in the box seat due to their superior for and against (+66).
McLeod said he was pleased with their overall progress and their current standing in the prestigious competition.
“We’ve had a couple of hard games and injuries, like everyone else, but we’re in a good position to be able to challenge for the title,” he said.
The Magpies mentor is relishing the challenge of working with the young talent in Souths Logan’s envied catchment area.
“I truly am loving it,” he said.
“Getting to know the boys and building relationships with them is rewarding. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”
Spearheading the Magpies’ charge this year is captain and halfback Campbell Pirihi, a try-scorer in the narrow eight point loss to Ipswich at Brandon Park last week.
Vice-captain and lock forward Kobe Tararo has also impressed with his on and off field leadership skills.
In last weekend’s other Connell Cup matches, Gold Coast Green drew with Gold Coast White 16-16, Norths were dominant 50-8 winners over Wynnum Manly, Northern Pride beat Toowoomba 34-18, Townsville outplayed Mackay 34-6, Sunshine Coast triumphed 38-0 over Central Crows and Easts were impressive 34-8 winners over Redcliffe.
Hayden O’Hara had an afternoon to remember for Easts, crossing for four tries in the Tigers’ big win over the Dolphins.
In the Meninga Cup, Norths, Redcliffe and Gold Coast Green lead Pool A on six competition points.
Townsville Stingers are the most dominant team in Pool B, leading the competition on eight points from the Central Crows and Sunshine Coast Falcons (both six).
The Stingers recorded their third-straight win last weekend, with Gideon Mosby-Gela, Cooper Bambling, Jordan Kenworthy and Dylan Jensen scoring tries in their 22-12 victory over Mackay.
Last weekend’s round 4 action also saw the Toowoomba Clydesdales notch their first win of the season. Brayden Josephs crossed for a hat-trick and Tristan Hope a double in the 38-34 result over the Northern Pride.