It seems fitting that the only two teams to hold top spot in the Brisbane Rugby League are the ones battling it out for the Chairman’s Trophy.
The Ipswich Jets host Wynnum Manly Redland City on Saturday afternoon in a true battle of competition heavyweights.
The Jets were flying high in first place until the Seagulls stole it in Round 12 and they haven’t surrendered it since.
The two went tit-for-tat in Round 7, with a try in the dying minutes to Seagulls’ second rower Brad Mana securing a memorable 30-28 victory.
Ipswich coach Mark Bishop typically downplayed any extra feeling between two of.
“Nothing much changes, do what we usually do and worry about us,” he said.
“The only advantage is that we don’t have to travel, but other than that; there are plenty of factors that can change regardless of where you are.
“It’s always nice to play at home though.”
After making his Intrust Super Cup debut, Haydan Lipp has returned to the BRL in recent weeks.
Bishop says he’s a much more complete player.
“It’s just given him a bit more confidence when he pushes up to the top grade … he’s always jumping around and is full of beans, so he’s good to have. “
Another sprightly customer is 21-year-old dummy half Peter Whittaker.
Whittaker is yet another livewire hooker on a well-oiled Ipswich production line and has drawn comparisons to Manly Sea Eagles-bound club mate Matt Parcell.
“Every time you hear the opposition say ‘run at the little bloke in the headgear’ and I think, well, just do your best,” Bishop said.
“He can certainly tackle.
“In attack he’s just lightning quick and he’s really starting to pick his moments now.
“He used to kick stones if he made a mistake, but now he just shakes it off and gets back into it – that’s a team and a club culture thing.”
While much is made of the Jets’ unorthodox ‘contract footy’ attack, Wynnum Manly Redland City have scored the most points in the BRL this season at an average of 36 per game.
They put 60 points on Logan Brothers last weekend and boast the competition’s equal leading try scorer, Grafton Ghosts recruit Mitchell Lollback.
Lollback, who has 16 meat pies to his name, is another to make his Cup debut in 2015.
The game will be streamed live online with commentary from John Devine.
If the match is drawn after 80 minutes, one competition point will be awarded to each team with golden point played to decide the winner of the trophy.
Saturday, August 15
3pm - Ipswich Jets v Wynnum Manly Redland City at North Ipswich Reserve LIVE STREAM
3pm - Logan Brothers v Normanby Hounds at Civic Park
3pm - Valleys Diehards v West Brisbane Panthers at Emerson Park
3.30pm - Gaters v Redcliffe Dolphins at South Pine Sports Complex
5pm - Carina v Easts Tigers at Leo Williams Oval