Brisbane Rugby League preview – round 1
Logan Brothers v Valleys Diehards
Saturday, April 11 - 3pm
Civic Park, Logan Central
Valleys were perhaps the surprise packet of the Struddys Sports competition, winning three-from-three to make the final before going down to Redcliffe. However, the slate is wiped clean when they meet Logan in the opening round.
The Diehards have scored 22 tries in their most recent four games and coach Pat O’Doherty indicated his side will again look to use the ball to avoid a forward confrontation.
“They (Logan) are big, strong and mobile and you’ve got to play smart football against them ... you can’t just take it straight up the middle because you can expect to be bashed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Logan have named try scoring machine Ramon Filipine on the wing. They won two from four in the pre-season competition and can’t afford any lapses against Valleys.
Gaters v Easts Tigers
Saturday, April 11 3.30pm
South Pine Sports Complex, Brendale
The backline artillery of Easts looks set to cause headaches for many BRL sides this season. Vastly experienced at Intrust Super Cup level, the elusive Maeli Seve and former Wests Tigers Under 20s representative Michael Kai will be a handful to contain.
The form of playmaker Jack Joass is another shining light, with the five-eighth setting up a number of tries against Brothers a fortnight ago. However, Gaters should be buoyed by their last-start 36-22 victory over Normanby. Centre Kieran Turner was impressive out wide, but will have his work cut out against the speed of the Tigers.
Carina v Redcliffe Dolphins
Saturday April 11 - 5pm
Leo Williams Oval, Carina
Redcliffe have already stamped their authority on the BRL, going through the pre-season competition undefeated to take out the silverware. Statistically, they boast the best defence and most potent attack and start as obvious favourites here. After injuring his ankle against Valleys, Dolphins’ Alex Bishop is named to start at five-eighth.
Carina have displayed plenty of fight to date, but were their own worst enemy against Wynnum Manly Redland City, throwing a number of loose passes that lead directly to tries. They must tighten their game to compete with the top sides
Ipswich Jets v West Brisbane Panthers
Saturday April 11 - 12.30pm
North Ipswich Reserve
Ipswich played West Brisbane in the ninth v 10th playoff at Bishop Park a fortnight ago, with the Jets clinching a narrow 30-24 victory. All signs point to another tight encounter. The Jets were unable to register a win in the pre-season competition, but got within 10 points of Redcliffe in round 2 and could have definitely beaten Ipswich in the above-mentioned match.
This fixture is part of the Ipswich Rugby League season launch at North Ipswich Reserve. The BRL match will be followed by three Paul Pisasale IRL A Grade games featuring all six teams. Former Wynnum Manly Seagulls back Sean Loxley looms as the key man for the Panthers at five-eighth.
Wynnum Manly Redland City v Normanby
Sunday, April 12 - 11.30am
BMD Kougari Oval
LIVE STREAM on Seagulls TV: http://livestream.com/accounts/9436031/events/3954893
It’s been tough to get a read on Wynnum Manly Redland City. In the pre-season competition, the boys from the bay put 46 point on Ipswich in round 1, then toppled Easts by two points before being thrashed 40-0 by Redcliffe and rebounding with a 44-20 victory over Carina in the fifth v sixth playoff.
What this means, we’re not quite sure. But we do know Redland City can score plenty of points when they’re on. Grafton recruit Mitch Lollback crossed for four tries in the first two matches before leaving the field injured against the Dolphins. Normanby have displayed moments of brilliance, with hooker Jack Walters especially dangerous from dummy half close to the line. This match is the curtain raiser for the Seagulls Intrust Super Cup clash against Papua New Guinea.
*For scores and match updates, follow the BRL on Facebook: BrisbaneRugbyLeague - A Grade and on Twitter: @BrisRugbyLeague