The excitement is certainly building out around Western Downs centre and rugby league stronghold Dalby where there is about to be a feast of top class footy with the arrival of the Queensland Rugby League’s Intrust Super Cup Country Week.
Country Week Footy Fever
Country Week will see Intrust Super Cup matches spread around the rural reaches of the Sunshine State, with the Dalby Rugby League Club hosting the Norths Devils and Mackay Cutters on Saturday, August 15.
It will certainly be a footy festival says Toowoomba Rugby League President Paul Dean, who is encouraging the Downs community to get along to the Dalby Leagues Club to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy all on offer.
“It’s not often were have the opportunity to see matches of this calibre in our own backyard,” Dean said.
“It’s an excellent initiative by the QRL and the main game will be supported by some high standard TRL fixtures among a myriad of footy related promotions on the day and within the lead up period.”
While the Devils and Cutters will do battle at 7pm that evening, the local league action will build footy appetites from 1.55pm when the Under 18 fixture between the Souths Tigers and Dalby Diehards kicks off followed by Reserve and First grade matches.
And Stanthorpe as Well:
Not too far south by crow flight the Country Week festivities will continue on Sunday, August 16 in Border League territory at Stanthorpe’s Sullivan Oval, with Intrust Super Cup combatants the Sunshine Coast Falcons letting loose on the Burleigh Bears hosted by the Stanthorpe Gremlins Rugby League Club.
It’s another huge day of footy with Border League action commencing at 10am being the Reserve Grade clash between the Stanthorpe Gremlins and the Tenterfield Tigers followed by A Grade and a Ladies League Tag match prior to the Intrust Cup Falcons & the Bears taking the field at 1.40pm.
Players from both Intrust Super Cup teams will be attending a Gala Dinner on Saturday evening, August 15th, with poet Marco Gliori providing entertainment along with guest speakers from the NRL and QRL, and well-known journalist and Queensland Rugby League identity Bernie Pramberg will be the MC. Tickets are $60 per person, contact 4681 0586.
Toowoomba Rugby League Round 17 Results:
After a nail-biting finish at the Dalby Leagues Club on Saturday night the Allora and Clifton based Wattles Warriors held on to finish ahead of the Dalby Diehards 34-30 and take the stand alone lead on the ‘Hutchie’s Cup’ Toowoomba Rugby League A Grade Premiership. Wattles have gathered a precious 26 competition points over the past 21 weeks since the 2015 season kicked-off, and currently are a win ahead of the Gatton Hawks & Highfields Eagles (24 points) who along with Pittsworth (20) and Dalby (19) fill the top five rungs.
The Warwick Cowboys (18) sit just outside the first five followed by Valleys (15).
This weekend has TRL teams contesting Round 18 of 22, with an urgency existing around the doorway to the time five with the finals series looming on September 5-6 at Toowoomba’s Gold Park.
Wattles v Dalby
In what was a vital fixture for the Dalby Diehards as they grapple with fellow top five clubs and contenders to lock themselves into a worry free position to ride in to the finals, it appeared they were a big chance at success over Wattles after a late three try scoring spree.
Wattles appeared to have Dalby in the bag leading 34-16 with eleven minutes remaining, but the Diehards grew an extra leg in the final stages to finish a try behind 30-34.
The result that saw both sides touch down for six tries apiece, allowed Wattles the two vital premiership points and retention of the Rod Frahm Memorial Cup they won last year.
The prestigious trophy is contested annually between the Wattles & Dalby clubs, Rod a former Wattles player, A & Reserve Grade Coach, committee member, generous sponsor and Life Member along with his wife Mrs Janette Frahm, as well as being a member of the Toowoomba Clydesdales Board.
Gatton v Valleys
The Valleys Roosters desperately needed premiership points on their home turf last Sunday but the Gatton Hawks weren’t about to offer any favours as they surged to a 44-16 win, their classy front-rower Dale Perkins adding another Hutchies Mug Player of the Match award to his already impressive resume.
The Roosters now face a very challenging task in qualifying for the finals series, the result may have seen Gatton ease in to second place on the ladder, but alas Valleys remain wedged in seventh place and two wins outside the top five.
The Hawks amazing winger Billy Jackwitz ran in another hat trick of tries confirming his value to the boys from the Lockyer, his season tally now 25, the leading TRL try scorer to date.
Goondiwindi v Brothers
The Goondiwindi Boars provided the winning result many judges have been waiting for when they finished all over the Brothers Leprechauns 58-12 at Gilbert Oval in the heart of Gunsynd territory on Saturday.
In what was their fifth win of the season the Boars got out to a 24-0 lead by halftime and well in control of the game in front of their home crowd.
Brothers collected a couple of touch downs in the second half but Goondiwindi had run away with the result, classy five-eight & captain David McGrady crossing twice for try’s as did team mate Liam Close. Despite the encouraging result, the Boars remain at eighth place on the ladder ahead of Brothers in tenth place.
Pittsworth v Oakey
The Pittsworth Danes had too much class and firepower of the Oakey Bears winning 60-18 on Saturday at Oakey, the Danes quite unassumingly easing over Dalby to resume fourth rung on the premiership ladder.
After leading 32-12 at the completion of the initial 40 minutes, Pittsworth resumed more of the same from the second half restart on their way to a 42 point success against the bottom of the table Bears.
Warwick v Souths
The Warwick Cowboys secured an important 44-30 winning result at Clive Berghofer Stadium over Souths on Sunday to be sitting just a point outside the top five.
It was a successful day for Warwick with wins in all grades. First Grade captain/coach Matt Gainey scored two tries as did second-rower Waka Hikaiti, Coach Gainey also looking to the future by blooding three Under 18 players in Sean Perrin, Ty Gardner & Harry Sullivan in top grade and all considered a success.
Tigers back Novan Monroe was in the points scoring a double and kicking three goals in his side’s attempts to overhaul their opponents.
The Millmerran Rams have continued their amazing dominance of the ‘Berghofer Cup’ 2nd Division competition, maintaining their unbeaten fixture record when they dispatched Dalby 62-4 at Dalby on Saturday. The Rams ran in eleven tries to one, Jai Klein, Tom Halford, Jamie Meddings and Brent Hearne snaring doubles each.
Millmerran take on Oakey this weekend and Goondiwindi the following Sunday before a two week break before meeting Pittsworth in the last fixture round of the season. They are certainly looking the 2nd Division team to beat.
Round 18 Preview:
The pressure surrounding the lower end of the Toowoomba Rugby League top five hasn’t reduced any from last week, the team configuration having changed slightly with Pittsworth and Dalby swapping ladder rungs between fourth and fifth.
The well balanced Pittsworth Danes can rightly fancy themselves against the Goondiwindi Boars, the Danes flying just under the radar with results firming them in the top five, with 10 wins from 16 outings so far this season. While Goondiwindi have just half as many successes, they are a team that can cause an upset under the generalship of talented five-eighth David McGrady and footy disciples at Club Pittsworth on Saturday can be assured of some top level League.
The stoush between the Warwick Cowboys and the Valleys Roosters could well see the Cowboys lurch in to fifth place should they be ahead at the full time hooter and the Dalby Diehards succumb to Gatton.
On the other hand a win for Valleys is much needed to keep their finals hopes alive. One thing is certain, with so much at stake for both teams it will be a cracker of a game at Warwick’s Father Ranger Oval on Saturday.
The Brothers Leprechauns host the third placed Highfields Eagles at Toowoomba’s Glenholme Park on Sunday, the Eagles fresh from a bye Round RDO last week. While the break allowed some niggling injures an extra week to recover, they never gained competition points while having a spell.
It’s no secret the Leprechauns are struggling a rung up from the bottom of the ladder, Highfields will be keen to snatch a win to stay within the top trio on the ladder.
The Eagles will be well aware they need the points on Sunday given they will be earning their spurs on the paddock over the following four week run to the finals when they have to contend with upper end of the table Pittsworth, Wattles, Gatton & Warwick.
The Oakey Bears will be hoping for a little déjà vu when they run on to Clifton’s Platz Oval on Sunday, home base of premiership leaders the Wattles Warriors. Back in Round 7 the Bears nailed last year’s premiers quite handsomely, one of Wattles two losses this season. The Warriors have certainly hit their straps since taking the Bears for granted back then, and the bottom of the ladder Oakey line-up will find this second season clash with Wattles more of a challenge.
Wattles will be boosted by the return of former Queensland Rangers forward Eugene Seddon and flying winder Michael Purcell who has just returned from the Queensland Outback side’s Thursday Island tour.
Another clash of the Round will be the Gatton Hawks against the Dalby Diehards at Gatton’s Cahill Park on Sunday. The second placed Hawks are coming off a dominant win over Valleys as they build momentum with the finals in sight and minor premiership ambitions.
Dalby may be in the top five but premiership points are an urgent necessity if they are to stay in the upper section of the ladder.
It seems unlikely the Millmerran Rams will encounter any hindrance when they take on the Oakey Bears at Clifton on Sunday as they try to continue their unbeaten fixture status. With a growing total of 554 fixture points to their credit at an average of 50.34 per match the Rams players could be considered handy in Australia’s Ashes campaign.
‘Hutchinson Builders’ a Grade Premiership Ladder after Round 16: Wattles 26, Gatton 24, Highfields 24, Pittsworth 20, Dalby 19, Warwick 18, Valleys 15, Goondiwindi 10, Souths 5, Brothers 5, Oakey 4.
Round 17 Fixtures: Saturday – Pittsworth v Goondiwindi, Pittswoth Leagues Club; Warwick v Valleys, Father Ranger Oval, Warwick; Sunday – Brothers v Highfields, Glenholme Park, Toowoomba; Wattles v Oakey, Platz Oval, Clifton; Gatton v Dalby, Cahill Park, Gatton; Souths bye