Round 3 of the Toowoomba Rugby League premiership kick off on the weekend – here’s your game-by-game preview.
Wattles v Gatton
Traditional foes Wattles and Gatton take aim at each other in the Hutchie’s Game of the Round at Clifton on Sunday. Former Hawks premiership players Jason Willmot and Dale Perkins will be eager to play their former club. Coach Garry Lawrence said Jarred Bradfield will replace the suspended Tim Sharpe in the pack. He also said Michael Bermingham is doubtful due to work commitments. Lawrence said that whoever defends the best this weekend will win the game. Hawks coach Nicki John Harch is of a similar opinion. He said the eagerness for his players to perform well against their old team-mates was not in their concentration, but rather ball control was their focus.
Wattles were rusty, but impressive against the Bears. Whilst the Hawks ball control against Highfields last round was poor; they got away with the two premiership points. Both teams will not want to lose as they will have only one win. Should be a cracker of a game and watch for the friendly rivalry to ignite!
Brothers v Souths
Traditional rivals Brothers and Souths meet at Glenhome Park this weekend. Brothers have opened a few eyes in the TRL competition this year whilst Souths have only had the one outing beating Goondiwindi in the first round. Something tells us that this game won’t be a lopsided affair and these two teams should go at each other with all guns blazing. Why? The Brethren will be on a high after thrashing Goondiwindi last start and the Tigers will be fresh and raring to go. Hopefully the Brethren don’t go into the game reading the headlines as the Tigers are ready to pounce.
Pittsworth v Goondiwindi
Goondiwindi Boars have a difficult assignment when they travel to Pittsworth this weekend. After a wakeup call last round against the Brethren, the Boars will not be wanting to let the rest of the competition get away from them this early in the season. Pittsworth have started the season well and will be wanting to register their first home win of the year after losing at home to Dalby in Round 1. Goondiwindi Coach Matt Galvin believes in his young side and they will be ready to take on the Danes this weekend. On the other hand, Pittsworth will be looking at their new combinations in the halves, Thomas O’Sullivan and James Demsey to step up. Beware the wounded Boar.
Warwick v Valleys
Warwick will be eager to get back in the winner’s circle when they host Valleys this weekend. The same can be said for the Roosters to get off their duck. Nathan Short may return for the Roosters which will boost their pack. Valleys ball control has been poor and coach Wayne Barnett knows they will improve. He said they will try and play basic footy as they cannot go much worse after a 23% completion rate last round against Valleys.
Warwick coach Craig Mullaly should be fairly happy with his start to the season and playing two of the first three rounds at home may just be the medicine that sees his Cowboys gather momentum for the rest of Round 1. He will have his two halves Paul Cantwell and Jaime Abbas back after missing last round against the Diehards. Mullaly will looking again at defence to get them across the line. It’s time for the Roosters to perform. They can be excused for their first two losses, but a third?
Highfields v Dalby
Dalby coach Kerry Carmichael sees the return of the Taylor Brothers for their clash against Highfields at Highfields on Saturday night. Unfortunately ,Carmichael can’t have it all his own way as he has lost hooker Danny Wassell for a few weeks with a broken hand. Zac Morris steps into Wassell’s shoes at hooker after games at five-eighth and centre in the first two rounds. Eagles coach Gus McKellar cannot win a trick this season as far as props are concerned; his side will take the field without in form Jake Cooley who has succumbed to a leg injury and may be out for a few weeks.
This match shapes up as being a hard-fought tussle. The Diehards will stay on top of the ladder should they win, whilst Highfields need to win to not only keep in contact with the leaders, but get some momentum into their injury ridden season. Fresh Taylor legs for mine.
Cookie’s tips: Gatton, Souths, Pittsworth, Warwick, Dalby
Obee’s tips: Wattles, Brothers, Pittsworth, Warwick, Dalby