Another round of Hastings Deering Colts clashes will kick off this weekend and the top six race is shaping up to be an extremely tight one.
Two competition points are all that separate fifth and eighth spot on the ladder, which means every game in the last month of football could mean the difference between playing finals footy and planning an early end of season trip.
Two teams fighting for their finals lives this week are the Burleigh Bears (7th) and the Wynnum Manly Seagulls (5th) who meet at Pizzey Park in Burleigh on Sunday.
After coming up short against the now-sixth placed Victoria Thunderbolts last weekend, Bears coach Jaime Mahon said this week’s game was “critical” as his side head into their bye next week.
“We had far too many missed tackles on the weekend and moments in the game where we made some incorrect decisions that led to the opposition capitalising on good field position and scoring points,” Mahon said.
“So we need to be better with our composure and discipline to complete our sets and build pressure instead of trying to score off every play.”
A win this week would see Burleigh hurdle Wynnum Manly on the ladder and into the top six, potentially pushing the Seagulls into seventh spot depending on other results.
Round 20 Highlights: U20 Hastings Deering Colts
However, another loss to a top six team for the Bears could prove fatal to their finals chances as they would fall to eighth on the ladder with Souths Logan getting a timely two points from the bye this weekend.
“We need to win at least two of the last four games plus the bye, which will give us six points, to get us into the finals with maybe some other results going our way as well,” Mahon said.
”It makes it difficult when you’re taking on the competition leaders after the bye, Townsville (Blackhawks) at home, and then Easts (Tigers) in our last game.
“I think the big thing for us just comes down to the team and the individuals minimising their errors and making tackles.”
The team sitting between Burleigh and Wynnum Manly in sixth and could push the Seagulls into seventh with a win this weekend are the Victoria Thunderbolts, who are coming off an impressive 32-16 win over the Burleigh Bears.
Barring an upset this weekend by the Western Mustangs, the Thunderbolts will expect to build off last week’s performance and solidify their spot in the top six.
Another team still in with a mathematical chance of playing finals footy are the Tweed Heads Seagulls who essentially need to win every game from here on out, as well as get a bit of luck with other results.
They can’t afford to look to far ahead though, as they are up against an Easts Tigers outfit who are looking to play spoilers for the teams fighting for top six positioning.
With plenty of teams battling for those few spots in the top six, every game is crucial for teams hoping to play September footy in 2018.