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Rugby League Ipswich A grade 2024 club-by-club preview

Rugby League Ipswich A grade competition has undergone a huge transformation in 2024 with two teams joining the competition.

Historic club West End has returned to the fold, while on the other ends of the spectrum Ipswich Jets will field a team in the local competition.

Here's how the teams are lining up for the new season, starting April 6.

Fassifern Bombers

Coach: Luke Pollock

Captain: Isi Hafoka

2023 finish: Runners-up

Signings: Isi Hafoka, Paetou Samatua

Losses: Tom Tronc, Ethan Tronc, Dale Ward

How will your team improve in 2024?

Go one better.

What can fans expect from your game style?

Fast and mobile.

Who is the team to beat?

Redbank Plains Bears

Ipswich Jets

Coach: Mark Bishop

Captain: Brett Greinke 

Signings/retains: Brett Greinke, Luke Maddaford (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Jared Chambers, Bessie Toomaga (Western Clydesdales), Chayse Cavanagh, Dray Ngatuere-Wroe.

How will your team improve in 2024?

The Jets will always compete.  We have a great forward pack and are looking to play a fast-paced game.

What can fans expect from your game style?

Fast and expansive style of football.

Who is the team to beat and why?

Fassifern. They are going to be hard to stop. They play hard footy and have great young juniors coming into senior football.  They have good depth and have several players who are on the verge of Hostplus Cup selection, not only in our Ipswich Jets Hostplus Cup side, but in other teams as well.

Brothers Ipswich 

Coach: Josh Leisemann 

Captain: Matthew Bell & Daniel Nolan 

Signings/retains: Deijion Leugiamafa, Daniel Nolan, James Tutuila, Taj Hinton, Harry Douglas 

Player losses: Matthew Sledge, Josh Mcarroll??... Elliot Stanfield (retired), Travis Turnbull (Souths Logan)

How will your team improve in 2024?

With some more experience being added to the squad and our younger players gaining valuable experience last year, we will be stronger right across the park. 

What can fans expect from your game style?

Tough and resilient as a team in defence. Attack will be conducted by our chief Taj Hinton and with some pretty exciting strike players across the park, hopefully fans enjoy the footy we play. 

Who is the team to beat and why?

I think the competition will be tough all year. The Jets coming back into the comp will be hard to beat. But hopefully we can be successful across all grades. 

Swifts Bluebirds

Coach: Wayne Finch and Kain Bell

Captain: Junior Muliaga

Signings/retains: We have a lot of new signings, plus retained players. They are all big signings to us. There’s no ‘i’ in team.

Player losses: Isimeeli Hafoka (Fassifern), Pat Samatua (Fassifern), Jake O’Doherty, Lachlan Williamson (West End), Luke Rea

How will your team improve in 2024?

Defence will play a big role in our make up this season. Attitude, commitment and hard work will reflect this in 2024.

What can fans expect from your game style?

You’ll have to get down to the ground and see.

Who is the team to beat and why? 

We treat every team the same. They are all the team to beat. The second you take that lightly, you will see the scoreboard reflect it.

West End Bulldogs

Coach: Jae Woodward 

Captain: TBA

2023 finish: N/A

Signings/retains: Lachie Williamson, Mitchell Williamson (Swifts),  Mason Pintegne (Canberra junior reps/Beenleigh Pride), Fine Faingaa, Tupu Lisati (Gatton), Tonga Mo’unga (Norths)

What can fans expect from your game style?

We will be a young and enthusiastic team. 

Who is the team to beat and why?

Fassifern. They were strong last year and came close. I believe they will have the motivation to try and go one better this year. The inclusion of the Jets is the unknown. 

Norths Tigers

Coach: Lee Midgley 

Captain: Lewis Smith

Signings/retains: Baily Keats (rugby union), Harrison Midgley (Jets Colts), Lachlan Stuart (Ipswich Jets Mel Meninga Cup), Jess Zampech (Norths Tigers), Blake Olive (Gatton Hawks), Ty Humphreys

Player losses: Brydan Thompson (work), Tonga Mouga (West End Bulldogs), Jack Fisher (work), Ty-James Marshall (BRL), Jacob Stephan (retired)

How will your team improve in 2024?

Through fitness and player attendance.

What can fans expect from your game style?

With this being one of the youngest A grade teams Tigers have seen, a mobile forward pack that is not afraid to throw the ball around. A team that trusts and supports one another with fast line speed in defence.

Who is the team to beat and why?

Jets. The Jets will bring a different style of football to the competition based on speed, fitness, moving the ball around and great defence. Fassifern is another team to watch. They have been building over the last couple of seasons and their connections will only be stronger.

Redbank Plains Bears

2023 finish: Premiers

Did not respond to questions.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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