Panther wall to be tested by Burleigh attack
With the Harvey Norman Women's National Championship complete, the SEQW season recommences this weekend and kicks off with West Brisbane Panthers travelling to Pizzey Park to take on the Burleigh Bears.
It has been an impressive season for the Panthers so far, currently sitting level with the Bears thanks to being unbeaten in six of their last eight games.
They come into this Round 10 fixture on the back of a 16-6 loss to the Easts Tigers. That was their first defeat since back in April, a 12-10 loss ironically also to the Tigers.
In between, the Panthers got on a roll and beat the likes of Burleigh and Brother's Ipswich and established themselves as a genuine team to watch in 2018.
Coach Craig Green said he thought his side's defence had been the cornerstone to their early success and the numbers back up that claim.
In Round 1 they conceded 34 points when they were short on numbers, but since then they have conceded just 80 points in the following eight games.
At an average of 10 points per game that makes them the best defensive team in the competition over that period.
"Our last game against Easts we let in 16 points," Green said.
"But generally, if we can hold our opposition to one try per half, 10 or 12 points, it puts us in a good position to win games.
"We've been travelling okay and we're still trying to work through some attacking stuff but that will come. This week against Burleigh at Burleigh will be a big test."
The Bears are the three-time defending champions, but have had a somewhat up and down run of late by their own lofty standards.
They have steadied the ship in their last three appearances, though, and a 60-0 win over Toowoomba in Round 9 might have been a warning to the rest of the competition that the champions are getting back to their best.
Wests were 16-4 winners when these sides last met in Round 5, but Green said he and his team did not get any false security due to that result.
"When we beat Burleigh, they were short four or five of their top players, so while it was certainly a really good win, we understood that they weren't at full strength that day," he said.
"It's going to be a big challenge for us this weekend, but I'm sure we're up to it. There are seven weeks left until the finals, we need to improve a bit each week and then hopefully we make the finals because once you're in the semis, anything can happen from there."
West Brisbane Panthers take on the Burleigh Bears at on Saturday at 11.30am.
Elsewhere in Round 10 action ,the Easts Tigers host Souths Magpies at 6pm on Saturday, while on Sunday Brother's Ipswich head to Gatton RLFC to face Toowoomba at 12.30pm.