Redcliffe take on second-placed West Brisbane Panthers tomorrow afternoon in a 1v2 match to close Round 20 of the In Safe Hands Cup competition.
However, there will be plenty of interest in the day’s early games, with all four sides involved having extra motivation to win.
Following their victory over Wynnum Manly last week, Valleys have pushed up to joint third with 41 points; with the Tigers a further point behind on 40.
Easts take on the Diehards tomorrow at Emerson Park and with six points up for grabs in the final two rounds, there are so many scenarios still possible.
If the Panthers lose their remaining games and Valleys win both, the Diehards would join them in equal second on 47 points, with for and against the determining factor.
The Seagulls have the bye this weekend and will collect three competition points, and their last round match is against the Jets. A win at North Ipswich would place the Seagulls in equal second on 47 points, making a three-way split (decided on by for and against) a possibility.
Ipswich are now in the ‘must win’ category for their remaining games against Logan Brothers this weekend and the Seagulls in the last round. The Jets would also need Easts to lose both their games.
On the other hand, if Easts win their last two games and other results go the Tigers’ way, they could find themselves in third.
Regardless, Logan Brothers are out of finals contention, but they certainly could throw a spanner in the works for teams above them.
The form of Callum Klein is improving with each game for the Diehards, along with the exciting talent in the back row of Paul Ivan, Troyden Watene and Jacob Kelly. However, they have it all to do against the Tigers wheels of Connor Jones, David McKenna and Brandon Downey. Jones and McKenna were outstanding in the Tigers loss to Redcliffe last week. Rex Johnson moves from hooker to join James Salter in the halves for Easts.
Logan Brothers will look to end Ipswich’s campaign when they are at home at Civic Park. The brethren are coming off the bye and close to taking the points against the Jets in their last encounter; going down 24-20 in Round 8 at North Ipswich Reserve. Rhys Melville returns again to Logan Brothers and with the recent form of Ben Faulkner, will prove to be a handful.
Ipswich led at half time against the Panthers last week and have nothing to lose as they fight for a final five spot. Rowan Winterfield has been brilliant on his late return in Jets colours, but the real firepower is in their backline. From half Mikaere Beattie to fullback Ono So’Oialo, Ipswich have the magnificent seven that can put away any opposing backline in the In Safe Hands Cup.
The top-of-the-table clash between Redcliffe and Wests is one to look forward to. A win for the Panthers would secure second place and a home semi-final, while a Redcliffe victory would provide them with a mental edge to take to the finals, where they could face the Panthers again.
The Dolphins have the bye next week, followed by the semi-final bye for finishing minor premiers.
In fact, if Redcliffe win their grand final qualifying semi- final; after this weekend they may well play only one game in four weeks before the grand final on September 16.
While Redcliffe coach Danial Green would have been happy with his side’s win against Easts last week to secure the minor premiership, he would be concerned that his charges allowed the Tigers back into the contest. Leading 18-8 at halftime, Easts hit back to take the lead 20-18.
Redcliffe have named an unchanged side, featuring last week’s BRLTV Man of the Match Sheldon Pitama with the exciting Christian Hazard and Aaron Whitchurch on the bench.
The Panthers had a mixed afternoon against Ipswich last week. The Jets led 18-12, before Panthers flyer Paul Ulberg ran amok for a vital win and a second place position. Hooker Aaron Watson and big man Josh Afoa return to partner Jared Blanke, who was impressive up the middle last week. Troy Swift is also proving to be a hand full from 10m out, crossing yet again last week.
IN SAFE HANDS CUP - ROUND 20 (August 12-13 2017)
Valleys Diehards v Easts Tigers at Emerson Park, Saturday 5 August 3pm
1.Andrew Lancaster 2. Tom Collins 3. Ryley Kajewski 4. Jyde Dwyer 5. Stacey Everitt 6. Rowan Klein 7. Joe Bond 20. Dylan Smith 9. Chris Aiton 10. Liam Herrington 11. Paul Ivan 12. Troyden Watene 13. Jacob Kelly 14. Callum Klein 15. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 16. Mattais Heimuli 17. Aaron Clode
Coach: Don Gailer
1. Brandon Downey 2. Brett Ferguson 3. Leon Ellia-Niukore 4. Jack Schaffer 5. David McKenna 6. Rex Johnson 7. James Salter 8. Gene Ropoama 9. Charles Burchell 10. John Puna 11. Kevin Bell 12. Frank Faulema 13. Anton Iaria 14. Connor Jones 15. Matt Richards 16. Jacob Teevan 17. Ryan Cameron
Coach: David Krause
Logan Brothers v Ipswich Jets at Civic Park, Saturday 12 August 4pm
1. Connor Toia 2. Kieran Battelley 3. Paul Rokolati 4. Matt Parata 5. Chris Tauelangi 6. Angus Dorante 7. LJ Waddups 8. Reece Summer 9. Jack Walters 10. Rhys Melville 11. Darcy Sims 12. Jack Anderson 13. Kalolo Saitaua 14. Grayson Putu 15. Ben Faulkner 16. Andrew Pratt 17 Otu Talakai
Coach: Steve Bretherton
1. Ono So’Oialo 2. Bernard Mosby 3. Chastyn Bowen 4. Brendan Marshall 5. Rendy Mam-Gibuma 6. Chris Ash 7. Mikaere Beattie 8. Fine-Callum Faingaa 9. Isimeeli Hafoka 10. Rowan Winterfield 11. Nathan Gaulton 12. Hugh Sedger 13. Tu’u Maori 14. Jesse Miles 15. Anthony Komboi 16. Mahe Paseka 17. Ben Hetra
Coach: Mark Bishop
Redcliffe Dolphins v West Brisbane Panthers at Dolphin Oval Saturday 12 August 5.15pm
1. Trai Fuller 2. Will Partridge 3. Sonny Munroe 4. Josh Rudolph 5. Sam Leach 6. Mitch Wilson 7. Kyle Van Klaveren 8. Taylor Brown 9. Hayden Hansen 10. Rulon Nutira 11. Agassi Stowers 12. Nick Ritter 13. Sheldon Pitama 14. Christian Hazard 15. Jaz Nahu-Main 16. Aaron Whitchurch 17. Elliott Thompson
Coach: Daniel Green
West Brisbane Panthers
1. Adam Wickins 2. Paul Ulberg 3 Michael Pearsall 4. Kennedy Pettyborne 5. Jamie Olds 6. Shaun Tupou 7. Luke Strasser 8. Erik Koelbel 9. Aaron Watson 10. Jared Blanke 11. Ashley Harawira 12. Dominic Biondi 13. Troy Swift 14. Jake Kelly 15. Ethan Marrinan 16. Josh Afoa 17. Mitchell Hallinan
Coach: Wayne Weekes
Wynnum Manly Seagulls – bye