Dalby v Warwick
This weekend sees winners from the first round Dalby host Warwick. The Diehards were superb against the Danes, whilst Warwick come off the back of a defeat of the Gatton which is no mean feat. Warwick will certainly have their chance as Dalby will be without halves duo Mitch and Dylan Taylors. Zac Morris and veteran Brendan McMillian come into halves whilst Tom Hine comes into the centres.
Warwick were very enthusiastic against the Hawks last weekend and they will have plenty of confidence after winning from 10-points down. Coach Craig Mullaly will be relying on his troops to show the same amount of enthusiasm as last week. However, they too will be without their halves. So this will be an interesting game.
Oakey v Wattles
The Hutchies Match of the Round sees the first outing for the reigning premiers. They will be a new-look outfit when they take the field. It will be hard to measure the form of the Premiers as there is nothing to go by from understrength preseason games. Former Gatton front rower Dale Perkins and Stanthorpe half Back John Wilmot make their debuts for the Warriors.
Oakey Bears will be wanting to improve on their efforts against the Eagles last weekend. They will be without front rower Josaia Qalotaki (suspension), but showed enough last week to be competitive. President Shane Turl is thrilled to have the Hutchies Match of the Round and said his club were really looking forward to performing well as a result.
Goondiwindi v Brothers
The Boars will be looking to getting a couple of premiership points this weekend when they take on last start winners Brothers. After narrowly losing to the Tigers, Matt Galvin said he was looking forward to playing their first home game. His boys are eager to perform in front of their home crowd. Galvin advised while Callum Skinner was doubtful, apart from him, they should be at full strength.
Brothers lose Michael Witt and Peter Gill and now get to see their new combinations settle into a routine. Coach Liam Cullen will be relying on his halves, Jack Head and Nickolas Trevisiol to continue their early form as he has Billy Squires, Robbie Celvins, Zac Rub and Cohen Haines out for the match.
Valleys v Pittsworth
Wayne Barnett said his side will definitely be better in their match this week.
“We made Brothers look good as our completion rate was really poor.”
Valleys lose Captain Luke Ash for two weeks from a shoulder charge suspension. Nathan Short is out for four weeks (ACL), Darren Schwerin (ribs 4-6 weeks) Harley Beckhouse is doubtful. Front rower Oliver Scott returns this this week.
Pittsworth, whilst going down to the Diehards, have plenty of form to probably go into the game as favourites but will not take the Roosters lightly. Coach Ian Brackstone said Jeff Weber was doubtful, but should be fit to play. Alex Stevens and Pat McDonald return to the side. Pittsworth will not want to start the season with 2 losses and nor will the roosters so this game should be a beauty!
Highfields v Gatton
Winger Cooper Bowyer has succumbed to a head injury suffered in their match last weekend against Oakey. Hayden Edwards comes off the bench to the centre, whilst Sean Hamel moves to the wing in the only change for the eagles. Coach Gus McKellar said ball control the key against the Hawks. He also said he hadn’t mentioned last year’s early exit from the finals at the hands of the Hawks and that he didn’t intend to.
“We can only control what is in front of us,” he said.
Gatton Hawks will not want to start the season with two losses. After losing to Warwick last week, the Hawks have Highfields this week followed by reigning premiers Wattles. Coach Nicki John Harch also cited ball control as the key to the game. Gatton have no injuries to report.
Obie’s Tips (season total 5): Dalby, Wattles, Pittsworth, Gatton, Goondiwindi
Cookie’s Tips (season total 5): Dalby, Wattles, Pittsworth, Gatton, Brothers