The Toowoomba Rugby League’s Andrew O’Brien casts his eye over Round 2 of the Hutchies A Grade Cup.
Pittsworth Danes v Wattles Warriors
5pm Saturday, March 25
This game is another beauty so early in the season.
Both clubs were excellent last weekend and both coaches were calm, cool and collected after their wins last week.
I did not see Wattles last weekend, but my spies tell me they were impressive and the addition of Gale, Duggan and Green goes a long way to suggest they will put it to the premiers on Saturday night.
This is the first home game since their humiliating defeat in front of a huge crowd in last year’s Madsen Rasmussen final.
They will need no more motivation to perform in front of their supporters.
The Dempsey, York and Webber combination last week and in the All Stars was excellent. Throw in Thomas O’Sullivan and the Danes look good.
The halves contest will go a long way to deciding this match but for me, it’s Pittsworth in a cliff-hanger.
Both teams will be supporting prostate cancer in this match.
Dalby Diehards v Gatton Hawks
6.30pm Saturday, March 25
This is the game of the round for me.
After all the hype in the off season about Steve Franciscus, Alex Ambia, Corey Blades and Jason Wardrop, I suggest coach Kerry Carmichael will be just looking forward to playing footy.
On Saturday night in Dalby, the can bar and verandah will be rocking and the Hawks will not be given any favours.
Dalby lost a number of games by small margins last season, especially in the first round and that will be on their minds more so than players changing clubs.
The Hawks had a good hit out against Oakey and I believe their stable is still excellent given the arrival of Billy Jackwitz, Shannon Hicks and surprise packet Jason Ryan.
Big Dennis Burgoyne was handed the captaincy this season and he will need to stand up and most of all stay on the field.
e is the key to the Hawks in this game. On his day, he is the most fearsome forward in the competition.
I am really looking forward to this game. Both clubs have new recruits but the Hawks pack looks better.
It’s Gatton by a whisker for me.
Toowoomba Valleys v Toowoomba Brothers
6.30pm Saturday, March 25
Herb Steinhort Oval
The Brothers’ discipline was poor last week, but their aggression was excellent.
They can beat any team in the competition on their day but they just seem to let the niggle and 50/50 calls getting under their skin. When that happens, they stray from their plan.
They will need no motivation this weekend against their old foes Valleys. The look in the Brothers player’s eyes after the game last week was enough to show me they will turn up this week.
On the other hand, Valleys won well last week and they were unable to measure where they are in the competition.
Coach Seymour seems a pretty cool character and it looks like the Roosters have improved since last year.
Interestingly, former Brothers captain Mitch Tuite is set to lace his boots up against his old club this weekend.
Brothers bounced back well after a loss last season so I’m tipping them in a real close one.
Highfields Eagles v Goondiwindi Boars
2.30pm Sunday, March 26
Kuhls Road Recreation Reserve
I felt for Boars coach Scott Schultz last weekend.
Watching his two senior teams succumb to the Roosters would have been heart breaking, and more so for the diehard fans.
The inclusion of Goondiwindi in the TRL is needed and mainly by their long-suffering fans so I hope the fellas dig deep this weekend.
Highfields will be a test but at least the Boars can measure themselves, irrespective of the result.
The Eagles machine was running smoothly last weekend against the Brethren.
Their spoiling and wrestle is the best in the business; patience is the key against this quality side.
Nick Bainbridge and Conor Nolan seemed to benefit from a good off-season whilst recruit Aaron Hooper paid for his match fees last week in a brilliant chase.
Highfields to win but I’m tipping Goondiwindi to improve.
Southern Suburbs Tigers v Warwick Cowboys
Hutchies Match of the Round
2.30pm Sunday, March 26
Clive Berghofer Stadium
Both last start losers so both Souths and Warwick will need no more motivation when they enter the field on Sunday. The loser remains on the bottom of the ladder.
Kelvin, Nutzy and I will be calling this game and it will be good to see what the Tigers have and how the Cowboys back up from last week’s drubbing at the hands of the premiers.
Warwick played a hot, tough game against Pittsworth last week, whilst Souths lost well to Wattles.
They played at night and the heat this early in the season could be a factor.
Both teams were suffering from a scorcher last week in Warwick therefore, I think Souths might be a little fresher than the Cowboys.
I believe this game will be a lot closer than people think.
Webcke-Price medallist Daniel Ryan suffered a knee injury last weekend, but if he is fit and plays, Souths will match it with the grand finalists, but it’s still the Cowboys for me.