The initial TRL fixtures last weekend illustrated what most people thought, it is going to be a very even and close competition in 2014.
Reigning premiers Gatton were successful but had to fight all the way against a tenacious Pittsworth. The final score-line of 30-22, in favour of the Hawks, was indicative of the tussle.
Wattles blew Souths away in the first 12 minutes of the game and ran out to a 16 point lead in this period, this was the telling difference in the end, with the Warriors hanging onto a 28-24 advantage at the siren. Warwick, Dalby and Valleys all recorded good wins over their opposition.
This weekend the weather may have a big impact on the games, with the Warwick versus Highfields game has already been transferred to Warwick’s Father Ranger oval. This should be a close tussle with Warwick now favoured with the home ground advantage.
Valleys travel to Pittsworth on Saturday night to battle with a feisty Pittsworth team. The effort from last weekend may take its toll on the Danes and I expect the well drilled Roosters to be too strong.
Souths tough draw continues when they meet the best team in 2013 the Gatton Hawks. Gatton will rely on their gigantic pack to force the smaller Souths forward into submission. Mercurial fullback Steven Fransiscus will look to lead the Hawks with his trademark bursts around the ruck.
Souths will need to be at their best to combat the physical Hawks. The conditions may determine the final outcome with Gatton favoured slightly. In the remaining games Dalby and Wattles are well favoured to overcome last start losers Brothers and Oakey respectively.
VALLEYS 44 (Josh Waters 2, Bryce Denman, Sam Capewell, Tyrone Jowett, Jason Sharpe tries; Ryan Stevens 8 goals) def HIGHFIELDS 18 (Sean Hamel, Campbell Stewart, Inoke Rokotolu tries; Aaron Thompson 3 goals).
WATTLES 28 (Jackson Green 2, Tim Hentschel, Joel Koina, Liam Ross tries; Matt Duggan 4 goals) def SOUTHS 24 (Adam Waters, Chris Richardson, Lachlan Telford, Jake Laing tries, Ben Loxley 2, Sean Loxley 2 goals).
DALBY 40 (Jed Bryers 2, Nathan Champney 2, Shaun Berrigan, Asher Elemani, Will Cambourn, James Wereford tries; Michael Fletcher 4 goals) def OAKEY 8 (Christopher Oliver 2, Robert Clevin 2 tries; Robert Clevin 4 goals).
WARWICK 38 (Anthony McIntosh 2, Trent Achilles 2, Jamie Abbas, Jacob Morgan, Joel Bradfield tries; Garth Miller 4, Anthony McIntosh goals) def BROTHERS 22 (Jake Head 2, Jason Trehern, Cohen Haines tries; Jake Head 3 goals).