There's only two games left of the season and this Sunday's preliminary final should be a beauty.
Valleys Roosters v Pittsworth Danes
A Grade Preliminary Final
3pm Sunday, August 27
Clive Berghofer Stadium Toowoomba
The wonderful season continues with a penultimate game that will have everything this weekend.
It’s funny, as preliminary finals always have a team coming off a loss and a team coming off a win.
It’s easy to pick the team coming off a win and we, as rugby league people, always pick the eyes out of a team that has lost.
Something tells me that Valleys will be a different side this weekend.
I go back to Round 9 when the Roosters lost away to Dalby. I saw the look in coach Brett Seymour’s face.
He knew he had to work hard to motivate his team to succeed. They did just that to win their next 10 games in a row.
My interview with Seymour last week reminded me of Round 9. It was as if this weekend’s encounter started there and then.
I suggest Valleys would have sat down and watched their video of last week and will not need to change too much to avenge defeat.
They have the attack, but it was their goalline defence that let them down.
I’m sure they will fix this and turn up in a different frame of mind.
Whilst mental attributes are important, it is the basics that will get Valleys over the line and most importantly, ball security when going into tackles. This was the main reason for their loss last week.
Additionally, the referees have been consistent in the clamping down of hands in the ruck.
Dalby had hands in the ruck all day and tried hard to milk almost every ruck penalty and it was obvious, yet in the Danes v Wattles game, it wasn’t, so the Roosters won’t be as frustrated and this will hopefully keep their mind on the job.
The last time these two teams met, Valleys convincingly defeated the defending premiers.
On that occasion, Valleys’ forwards and their bench were brutal and made the Danes stand up and take notice as they were on a roll from the start of the season.
Pittsworth’s season is similar to their title winning year. They have peaked at the right time and were very good last week as such an unassuming side.
No player is a standout, they just work well as a team.
Probably their most underrated aspect of their game is their forward pack. Challenge them at your own peril!
Something tells me the Valleys forward pack will be a different kettle of fish, but Pittsworth have this uncanniness of backing themselves.
Brosnan and Gibbs have stepped up this season after the hole left by Matthew Briggs and after throwing in Patrick MacDonald and Daniel York, we’ll see how good they are.
I’m backing Valleys as I just think they have more game breakers in Chown, Stevens and Bowering plus Munns was very dangerous last week and should be a handful again.