Back-to-back wins has Brothers finals bound
Two gritty wins on the trot has almost certainly ensured that Brothers Ipswich will finish inside the top four of the SEQW competition with the finals just two weeks away.
A 12-4 win over Easts Tigers in Round 13 was backed up by a 16-10 victory over a desperate Souths Magpies last weekend and has seen Brothers Ipswich move into third spot on the competition ladder, six-points clear of the chasing Magpies in fifth.
They also hold a significant for-and-against advantage over the Magpies, meaning it would take a minor miracle for them to miss the finals from here.
It is no doubt a relief for last year's runners up, as they were hit hard during the mid-year rep season.
Star players such as Ali Brigginshaw, Amelia Kuk, Brittany Breayley, Maitua Feterika and Kody House all represented Queensland in the inaugural Harvey Norman Women's State of Origin and they were heavily represented at the Women's National Championships as well.
The rep season took a toll. After winning four of their first five games and setting the early pace, Brothers Ipswich picked up just three wins in their next eight games.
Coach Bec Jones said wins over title contenders Easts and a red-hot Souths has been "huge" for the team leading into what is sure to be a hotly contested finals campaign.
"Obviously we've missed quite a few of our experienced players due to rep football," she said.
"It was good in the fact that we had a lot of our juniors and a lot of our new faces get a bit more game time and a bit more experience under their belt, but, getting those experienced girls back obviously helps steer the ship and it is good to have them back.
"We still have a few with injuries and a couple away, but once we get them back and once we've dealt with those little niggles we've got pretty much all of our players back on deck and we'll be looking to get the girls on the field, be a bit more consistent and go to our structure as we go into the finals."
She said her side has been more patient with and without the football the results have come on the back of that consistency.
On Sunday, they take on Toowoomba, whose lone win in 2018 came at the expense of Brothers Ipswich in Round 10.
That 20-10 result came right in the middle of representative season, but Jones said her team would not be taking this game lightly.
"(Toowoomba) are keen. They're relatively new in this competition but they have got a few players there with experience," she said.
"We want to make sure that we just do the little one per cent plays that make a big difference. We've got to make sure that we're not complacent, put it together as a team and continue building towards the next few weeks."
Elsewhere in the competition's penultimate round, the Burleigh Bears host the West Brisbane Panthers on Saturday. If the Panthers win, they will book their place in the finals, while a loss could leave them vulnerable in Round 16.
Finally, Souths Magpies will need a win over Easts Tigers at Davies Park on Sunday to be a chance of sneaking into the top four.
SEQW Division 1 Round 15
Burleigh Bears v West Brisbane Panthers; Saturday, July 14 at Pizzey Park, 1pm
Souths Magpies v Easts Tigers; Sunday, July 15 at Davies Park, 1pm
Brothers Ipswich v Toowoomba; Sunday, July 15 at Blue Ribbon Motors Field, 4.30pm
|SEQW Division 1 Ladder|
|1. Burleigh Bears||35||+196|
|2. Easts Tigers||32||+90|
|3. Brothers Ipswich||30||+94|
|4. West Brisbane Panthers||29||+68|
|5. Souths Magpies||26||-34|