Mal Meninga Cup semi final previews
Redcliffe are hoping their hard work all season long will be enough to beat the first-placed Souths Logan on Sunday, as they prepare to battle it out at the Dolphin Oval for a shot at the Mal Meninga Cup grand final.
“All competition and all season we’ve focused on the fundamentals of the game, making sure that we are very good with those,” Dolphins coach Chris Little said.
“We know what we’re up against when it comes to the quality of opposition and we’ll just be putting our best foot forward.”
Little and his squad’s match against the Magpies will be their biggest challenge yet as their Souths Logan opponents have dominated their opponents this season, only allowing one loss to the Burleigh Bears in Round 4.
Even with that in mind, Little does not believe his team's approach will change going into this weekend; despite their opponent’s strong performances and past experiences in finals matches.
“We’ve just been concentrating on our strengths and weakness,” he said. “We’re just trying to work on our completions, and build some pressure.”
No matter the outcome this weekend, the Dolphins hope the positives and growth they have experienced will go into next season.
The team currently has 11 players aged 17 or younger, making them eligible for Mal Meninga Cup next season, which will provide stability for the club going forward.
“They’ve just bought into the culture of the club and know what’s expected of them at this level of football,” Little said.
“We’ve really just focussed on key processes, philosophies, keeping the same terminology and just working really hard in our catch pass, draw pass, our transition to the ground game and making sure every player in the group knows their role.”
The Magpies will be looking for leadership from some of their standout performers, including their halves combination of Dray Ngatuere-Wroe and Tanah Boyd and young forward David Fifita who last year co-captained the Queensland Under 16 team.
The other semi-final pits the Western Mustangs against Easts Tigers at Gold Park.
The Mustangs finished just under the Magpies on the ladder – and also won five games. Their only loss came in Round 6 against Victoria.
They will be led on the field by skipper and halfback Cory Paix who shared the honours of skippering the young Under 16 Maroons last season with Fifita.
Easts will enter this match in good form however, with both Reece Butler and Zac Teevan scoring doubles in their Round 7 46-10 win over Victoria.
A chance to play in the state final in the familiar surrounds of Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park will be a key motivator for the team in this semi-final, so fans who head to the game are set for great match.
Follow all the scores and the final team line-ups for the Mal Meninga Cup with QRL Live (link below)