Brothers Ipswich begin their run home when they take on Souths Logan Magpies this Sunday afternoon in Round 9 of the SEQW Division 1 competition.
With all of their byes now behind them, Brothers Ipswich are back in the thick of it this week with six straight games coming up before semi-finals.
The 2019 finals series will be sudden death, and Brothers coach Liam Bromilow said his side’s main goal over the last six weeks is to achieve a top-two finish and secure a home semi-final.
“The home semi-final is very important,” he said. “This year there are no second chances, so coming first or second on the ladder is critical. That way we can have a home semi-final and then hopefully go straight to the grand final after that.”
Currently in second place, Brothers are well situated for their run home, but their first obstacle is a tricky one in the form of the Souths Logan Magpies.
Not only have the Magpies been in good form recently, but due to representative commitments both sides will be without key players.
Brothers will be without Amelia Kuk (PNG), Tanika Marshall (Fiji) and Taimane Levu (Samoa), who will all be on international duties while both clubs have two Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons State of Origin representatives.
Souths lose Annette Brander and Stephanie Hancock, and Brothers will be without Ali Brigginshaw and Brittany Breayley.
While they will no doubt miss their rep players this weekend, Bromilow was full of praise for the impact they all make to the club and is looking forward to their return.
“(Brigginshaw and Breayley) are arguably two of the best players in the world for their position, so to just have them in our club environment; the girls look up to them and follow everything they do and the feedback and communication they give to the girls coming back from that rep arena is second to none,” he said.
“To have them out is a big loss, but we look at it as an opportunity for the other girls to really step up and take control of the game.
“When crunch time comes, a lot of the time there is that tendency to think ‘Ali or Brittany will step up and make a play here.’ Without them, these other girls will have to show what they’re capable of.”
Brothers are in second, but a loss to Souths would see them slip to third, while a Souths Logan loss would be a blow for their finals chances. They kick-off this Sunday afternoon at Davies Park from 3pm.
Other SEQW Division 1 fixtures see Easts taking on Burleigh on Saturday and Tweed Heads hitting the road to challenge Toowoomba on Sunday. Competition leaders Wests Brisbane have the bye.
SEQW Division 1 Round 9 fixtures
* Easts Tigers v Burleigh Bears – Saturday June 15 at Allan Innes Field, 3pm
* Toowoomba Valleys v Tweed Heads Seagulls – Sunday June 16 at Herb Steinohrt Oval, 2pm
* Souths Logan v Brothers Ipswich – Sunday June 16 at Davies Park, 3pm
* Wests Brisbane Panthers, bye
|1||Wests Brisbane Panthers||134||21|
|5||Souths Logan Magpies||82||16|
|6||Tweed Heads Seagulls||-82||14|