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Action-packed weekend ahead as semi-finals time arrives

The BMD Premiership has reached the semi-finals stage of the competition with two games taking centre stage this weekend.

Saturday’s match will see minor premiers Central Queensland Capras take on new kids on the block Wynnum Manly Seagulls, while on Sunday, defending premiers Burleigh Bears will face off against a North Queensland Gold Stars side in red-hot form.

The Capras finished in seventh place last season with two wins, so the turnaround has been dramatic. However, the side are coming off a 26-16 loss to the Bears last weekend and will contend with the Seagulls at Browne Park for their chance to progress to the decider.

The Seagulls come into this match with a win after accounting for West Brisbane Panthers 16-10 last round.

Seagulls coach Ron Troutman said he was “excited and happy” to be playing finals, but knew they were a different beast.

“We have to compete, it’s our first finals and we will be looking to certain players to bring their NRLW experience and add composure to everything we do on Saturday,” Troutman said.

“Emily Bass has been great and we have her fullback, so her battle with Tamika Upton will be great for the game; Shaylee Bent has been terrific and just won a NRLW premiership with the Dragons, so she will be a calm voice out there.

“Amy Turner is our centre and has only played two games but again been great for us.”

Captain Patrice Chambers is the crafty hooker who will need to take advantage of any tired Capras.

“I think our forwards will need to do a massive job and then we can get the ball to the Ferraris to score some tries,” Chambers said.

“Someone has to pull the caravan first and that will be my job to bring our forwards onto the ball and get us going forward.

“I am excited it’s finals and wet or dry, this is when you want to play.”

The Capras' last round form might be the jolt the team needs before finals. They started well with Bree Spreadborough scoring in the sixth minute, but then it took them until the 30th minute to score again.

Skipper Mariah Storch led the way with 120 metres and Kailah Rogers made 30 tackles.

Capras coach Amanda Ohl would be looking for her players to learn from the last round then bring their season form into this week.

“Last week has been spoken about and we know where we went wrong,” Ohl said.

“What we want is to learn from that and move forward to this week.

“It’s our only loss, so we think we can learn from it.”

Captain Mariah Storch said she was excited and ready for the finals challenge and thought her forward pack would embrace the occasion.

“It’s our first finals, but we have to aim up in the forwards and then let our backs do their thing,” Storch said.

“Wynnum are going to present some challenges, but I think we are ready for them.”

Sunday’s game is set to be a cracking match between the Bears and Gold Stars.

Last weekend, the Bears went to McIndoe Park in Emerald and knocked over the minor premiers, while the Gold Stars shone brightly while defeating Brisbane Tigers 28-0.

The Stars where unstoppable and will bring great form with them on Sunday. They also have the advantage in the head-to-head stakes this year, beating the Bears 40-26 in Round 4.

Jasmine Peters made an outstanding contribution towards the win over the Tigers with 173 metres while Destiny Brill led the way in defence with 28 tackles. All that will be needed again this week.

Gold Stars coach Gavin Lloyd said his side’s challenge would be to convert their regular season form into finals form.

“It was nice to beat the Tigers and play well, but I said to the players that it doesn’t mean a lot now,” Lloyd said.

“Our run and our form is judged from here and what you do in finals.

“We couldn’t get worse conditions than last week, so we are hoping for a dry track and then we can play some football and I think that will suit us.

“The Bears are obviously a good team, they’re the premiers and they’re at home, but we will come down for Sunday and be ready to go.”

Gold Stars captain Romy Teitzel has moved into the second row this season and was a powerhouse against the Tigers.

“The thing that impressed me most about our win against the Tigers was the zero,” Teitzel said.

“It was in tough conditions and we held out a team with lots of class.

“I feel like that’s the thing we need to keep going. If you control them scoring then your attack isn’t under as much pressure.”

Destiny Brill in action for the North Queensland Gold Stars against Burleigh Bears. Photo: NRL Images
Destiny Brill in action for the North Queensland Gold Stars against Burleigh Bears. Photo: NRL Images

The Bears are playing at home at Pizzey Park and know just what to do this time of year.

Their win over the Capras was timed so well for the finals and will be a source of confidence, with players like Ashlee Quinlan, Halilee Jay Maunsell and Karina Brown in good form.

In his first season at the helm, Bears coach Scott Cooke said being defending premiers “doesn’t carry too much weight now” and his side would need to do all the right things to get the win over the Gold Stars.

“We still need our forwards to make sure we have momentum and then we can look at giving our backs like Ashlee Quinlan some space and time to attack,” Cooke said.

“The Stars are playing some great football at the moment and two players we know we need to keep a close eye on and prepare for are Emma Manzelmann their hooker and their captain Romy Teitzel.”

Bears second rower Tallisha Harden will bring plenty of experience to the park on Sunday and will be looking to add to her CV with another win for the Bears.

“I don’t think being premiers will matter too much on Sunday,” Harden said.

“We are a new team, new finals, so we just have to be ready to go on the weekend.

“The Gold Stars have great halves and a great second row combination so we just have to worry about us.”

The semi-finals can be watched at Qplus.tv

QRL Match Review charges results - Round 7

 

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