Connell Semi Final teams
Attitude the key for Souths Logan in clash with Pride
(Cyril Connell Cup teams listed below)
AN impressive South Logan Magpies regular season capped with a high-stakes win over Gold Coast Green has served as ideal preparation for coach Lincoln McLeod’s side’s Cyril Connell Cup semi-final with Northern Pride.
Two of the competition’s strongest sides face-off for a grand final spot and McLeod said his side have taken a lot out from their victory over Gold Coast, which saw them seal top spot in Pool A.
“Any win over quality opposition will give you confidence and we had trained hard knowing what was at stake,” McLeod said.
“The boys were quite excited and buoyed with the win; there was a feeling of relief after the game, but we’re definitely focused for the Pride.”
With a week off for all sides ahead of the finals, preparations have seen a notable rise in intensity according to McLeod.
“It has most definitely picked up in training,” he said. “The boys know there is no tomorrow so to speak and their attitude has been outstanding, as it has been since pre-season started back in November.”
Northern Pride won five out of six matches in the regular season and enjoyed a final-round bye and McLeod is anticipating a match fit for finals footy.
“I’m expecting this to be a very physical game,” McLeod said. “They’ve got strong forwards and quick backs, it’s just going to a quality game.”
McLeod also praised his side’s improvements in completing their sets more consistently, with a strong all-round team performance being crucial for reaching this stage of the season.
The Pride also possess strong teamwork and the competition’s leading goal-kicker in Jake Clifford; and coach Shane O’Flanagan will no doubt have his side ready for this tough encounter.
In the other Connell Cup semi-final, Gold Coast White make the trip to Townsville to face the Stingers in the first of a finals double-header at Neil Stewart Park.
The Stingers finished atop Pool B with a perfect record as well as statistically the best Connell Cup attack and defence.
Coach Allan Petersen’s side were last-start 46-0 winners over Central Crows and have been impressive all season.
Yet Gold Coast White will not be intimidated, having reached the finals with a 30-6 win over Ipswich in what was a must-win game, showing their mental strength.
Gold Coast will need to keep an eye out for competition top-scorer and Townville lock Duarne Dempsey, while the Stingers will be wary of the exciting halves combination of Alex Brimson and captain Vita Sula-Siaosi.