Valleys Show They Have the Finals Goods
Toowoomba Rugby League foundation club the Valleys Roosters served notice they weren’t in the ‘also ran’ category last Sunday when they nailed a last ditch win to provide the high flying Highfields Eagles with just their second loss of the year.
The Roosters had the Eagles corralled by half time leading 18-0, but Highfields showed their mettle to have the game level at 22-22 with five minutes to go. In the shadow of full time, Valleys winger Aaron Silitoe made a name for himself scoring to secure victory.
TRL Chairman Paul Dean put the word out last week that the standard would lift as the competition turned to drift towards the finals and how right he was.
Pittsworth v Warwick
Aside from the Valleys/Highfields test match, the Pittsworth Danes edged out the Warwick Cowboys 24-22 at Father Ranger Oval in another game that had an effect on the top five, the Danes leading 12-10 at the break. Pittsworth and Warwick are level on fourteen competition points, but the Cowboys hold down fifth place due to a superior points differential.
Warwick Coach Matt Gainey considered it a game that got away. It was a match for the hookers though with Warwick’s Justin Croft earning Player’s Player honours for his side, and Dane’s rake Josh Sudlow collecting the ‘Hutchies Mug’ as Player of the Match.
Dalby v Goondiwindi
The Goondiwindi Boars are a team that appear to be about to break loose in the TRL top grade competition, and while sitting in eighth place three and a half wins behind the next team, they certainly seem to have the ability to shake a few sides up. On Saturday they led the fourth placed Dalby Diehards 12-6 at half time, and extended their lead to 22-8 with 20 minutes to go. However, Dalby showed last week they are top five focused and raced in three converted tries to nudge the Boars off the points.
Souths v Brothers
The Souths Tigers nailed their second win of the year when they finished on top of Brothers 36-22 at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Sunday. The Tigers are heading the right way on the ladder now after a tough first Round. Brothers posted strong wins in Under 18 &and Reserve Grade but are struggling to lift themselves off the bottom of the top grade ladder.
Wattles v Gatton
The league faithful that rolled up to Gatton’s Cahill Park last Sunday certainly received value for money when the Gatton Hawks & Wattles Warriors went head to head in the top of the table clash on Hawks turf with 14 tries scored and Wattles hanging on to creep home as 42-38 victors.
Wattles half back Matt Duggan’s seven from seven goals carried plenty of weight when it came down to the final score, both sides having touched down for seven tries apiece.
Wattles appeared coasting when ahead 42-20 with seventeen minutes to go, then the Hawks found a few extra gears in a blazing finish where they ran in three vital tries to trail 38 – 42 with five minutes remaining.
Round 14 preview:
It’s another big weekend of league for the Toowoomba Rugby League, with most fixture results having an effect on the positioning in the top five.
The Goondiwindi Boars will play host to the Oakey Bears at Gilbert Oval, and given the Bears recent form the Boars would be fancying themselves for the competition points. But while Oakey have just the two wins under their belt from thirteen fixture rounds, one of those wins was over reigning premiers Wattles. The message there is don’t underestimate the Oakey spirit, but after Goondiwindi’s effort over Dalby last week they will be a handful for the visiting side.
At Clifton’s Platz Oval, home side the Wattles Warriors take on the Warwick Cowboys in the Southern Downs local derby. The two neighbouring TRL clubs that share so many links over past decades are tremendously competitive traditional foes, and will lift to another level regardless of position on the premiership ladder or recent form. Wattles are currently second on the TRL ‘Hutchies Cup’ ladder with the Cowboys in fifth place four competition points behind. A win is vital to both sides and combined with the vigour in which the match is normally played, spectators are assured of a cracker of a game.
Wattles’ 2nd Division affiliate club the Millmerran Rams will also be taking on the Warwick Cowboys and are more than keen to keep their unbeaten fixture status in place. The Rams boast seven wins from seven outings, their only stumble a loss to Valleys in the mid-season President’s Cup.
On Sunday Highfield’s Kuhls Road Complex will greet the Dalby Diehards who are determined to keep their winning run afloat. Having said that the Highfield’s Eagles will be out to kick back after only their second loss of the season last week to Valleys. The Eagles need a positive result to stay in the top three, while a win is just as important to Dalby as they strive to consolidate in the top five among plenty of traffic on the ladder just outside the five.
The Brothers Leprechauns may be at the bottom of the ladder, but while the odds may appear tipped against them taking on the Valleys Roosters who have demonstrated a hunger to storm into the top end of the premiership ladder, Brothers are on their sacred turf of Glenholme Park ... anything can happen !
A win for the Roosters may well see them claw they way into the top five and on last week’s form when they claimed Highfields they have a healthy chance of success.
The Toowoomba Rugby League’s ‘Hutchies Mug’ match this weekend is between the Pittsworth Danes and the Souths Tigers at the Pittsworth Rugby League Grounds. Souths are coming off a handy win last week and now heading the right way up the ladder. However the Danes came home with a gutsy but close win over Warwick and are looking to fall into the clear fifth place or better on the ladder with the right result over Brothers.
The Gatton ‘Hawks’ enjoy the RDO this weekend having drawn the bye.
‘Hutchinson Builders’ a Grade Premiership Ladder after Round 13: Gatton 20, Wattles 18, Highfields 18, Dalby 15, Warwick 14, Pittsworth 14, Valleys 13, Goondiwindi 6, South’s 5, Oakey 4, Brothers 3.
Round 14 Fixtures: Saturday – Goondiwindi v Oakey, Gilbert Oval, Goondiwindi; Wattles v Warwick, Platz Oval, Clifton. Sunday – Highfields v Dalby, Kuhls Road Complex, Highfields; Brothers v Valleys, Glenholme Park, Toowoomba; Pittsworth v Souths, Pittsworth Rugby League Club; Gatton bye.