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BRL lowdown Round 9: Heat on as rep opportunity looms

With less than a month before the XXXX Chair’s Challenge, players will be out to impress an extra coach and selection panel starting with Round 9 this weekend.

It includes a blockbuster with last year’s grand finalists coming together for the first time since September 15, 2023.

The Bulldogs are back. While going down to Carina last week by a conversion, the boys from Balmoral have some unfinished business after finishing as minor premiers last year.

The defending premiers Wynnum Manly Juniors had a slow start losing their first three games before getting their mojo going.

Bulimba speed man The Flying Ronny Philitoga has been a menace and with Dan Smith and Zac Taibi all with wheels, blink and you will miss their pace.

Wynnum Juniors have the majestic Kyle Coghill directing the Seagulls V-pack that has the upfront torque of the likes of Lachan ‘Lethal’ Lee and Charlie Kwock-Sun Baker all with one direction in mind. Just like the decider, this will take the full 80 to find a winner at Balmoral Recreation Reserve, 1pm .

Souths Juniors' season will be on the line from 3pm at Brandon Park where they will take on Valleys. The Diehards, after a win last week, will need to do it again to stay in touch. Te McDonald, Jieye Mauai and Jacob Tinsley have come out with intent to lift their flock.

Valleys dynamic halves Josh Fauid and Hayden Rowbotham are starting to sing the same song. Add the backing vocals of Zac McGuire and the iconic Diehards anthem will have the full ensemble.

The big cats will roar at Leo Willimas Oval from 3pm, with the Tigers taking on the West Brisbane Panthers in the top of the table clash.

Wests are undefeated. Trying to find a chink in their armour won’t be easy.

Carina will have other ideas. The homeside quick men Tony Thompson, Jezzy ‘Dizzy’ Ioane and Cole Waaka will have to be at full speed to pass or run down Panthers quicks Isaiah Lealiiee, Zion ‘Zip Zip’ Johnson and Declan Haydon.

In what is shaping as a semi-final quality encounter, the cat that wants the two points and wildebeest for dinner will have to be at their ferocious best.

Redcliffe will host Normanby at Kayo Stadium from 4pm. Tauaalo Vaipulu, Thomas Casey and Tray ‘Legs’ Lolesio will be tasked with holding out the Hounds middle-men.

Normanby can score points, but it is their defence that will need to aim up, especially in the middle third. The visitors have just the one competition point and they would love to take two more back to the kennel.

Jim Lawrie Oval from 4.30pm will host a vital fixture between the Brighton Roosters and Beenleigh Pride. It’s seven v eight.

The Pride's beasts Garrett ‘Peter’ Smith, Cameron ‘The Big’ Bukowski and Levi ‘The Menace’ Moger are the key against a massive Roosters pack.

Luke Sorensen, Eza Wainohu and Sione Kivalu will be lifted by their home crowd that are hoping for a tricolours win to rock the nest come full time.

Main image: Bulimba halfback Hayden Herbert in action for Brisbane Red at the 2023 Chair's Challenge.

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