Ipswich set sights on Gaters

They helped their region secure a valuable piece of silverware but Ipswich's representative contingent are turning their attention back to the Brisbane Rugby League. 

Ten members of the Jets BRL side were part of the Ipswich Diggers squad that claimed their first Chairman’s Trophy last weekend.

Coach Mark Bishop cheered on his chargers but was also relieved they got through two games in three days unscathed.

“They were really good – I think their extra fitness and professionalism got them across the line,” he said.

“But they’ve all got through injury free apart from a cork and a couple of stitches.”

The defending premiers will need all troops on deck heading into their biggest match of the year to date against the top-of-the-table Gaters.

The Albany Creek club have only dropped one match in the opening five rounds and are coming off a high-scoring win over Carina last week with nearly a dozen players on the sideline.

“We can’t afford to be taking anyone lightly,” Bishop said.

“We’ll have to weather the storm because sides have thrown a lot at us this year. It’ll again be about defending hard like we know we can.”

On average, Ipswich have conceded fewer than 12 points per game and have the second highest points aggregate (152) despite having one postponed game in hand.

Overcoming those stats is a challenge Gaters coach Craig Rodgers says his team is up for.

“They’re the team to beat and you need to be smart against them to compete,” he said.

Adam Wickens is expected to return from an ankle injury at fullback but the final make up of the Gaters side won’t be known until Friday night, with a handful of players needing to pass fitness tests to play.

“Our spine has changed quite a few times this season but all the guys who have stepped in have done really well,” Rodgers said.

“That’s what our club’s about – it’s not about the individual but working together as a team.”

The match kicks off at 12.45pm at North Ipswich Reserve, ahead of the Jets' Intrust Super Cup clash against Burleigh. 

FORM GUIDE

Ipswich

Rd1: def Redcliffe 28-22
Rd2: def Wynnum Manly RC 34-22
Rd3: def Normanby 44-4
Rd4: def Logan Brothers 46-8
Rd5: postponed v West Brisbane

Gaters

Rd1: def Normanby 28-6
Rd2: def Easts 30-0
Rd3: def West Brisbane 30-16
Rd4: lost to Wynnum Manly RC 12-34
Rd5: def Carina 46-32

ROUND SIX

Saturday, May 14
Easts Tigers v Logan Brothers at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park, 12.15pm
Ipswich Jets v Gaters at North Ipswich Reserve, 12:45pm
Normanby Hounds v Carina at Purtell Park, 3pm - LIVE STREAM
Valleys Diehards v Redcliffe Dolphins at Emerson Park, 4.30pm

Sunday, May 15
Wynnum Manly Redland City v West Brisbane Panthers at BMD Kougari Oval, 1pm- LIVE STREAM