Bluebirds take flight
OPPONENTS beware, Swifts have found the thing they've been missing so far this season - confidence.
The Bluebirds have regained their mojo after their surprise won over Goodna last weekend.
Tonight they take on equal competition leaders Norths at the North Ipswich Reserve.
It is one of two A-grade games being played tonight on what was scheduled as a bye weekend due to the Ipswich Cup race meeting tomorrow.
Instead it is being used to play the games that were postponed due to wet weather in round four.
The other clash this evening is between Goodna and West End at Woogaroo Field.
Swifts have been boosted by the return of powerful prop John Umaga, who made his first appearance of the season against Goodna following injury.
The 36-34 win over the Eagles was one of the bigger upsets of the season, given Goodna were top of the table and Swifts were running last.
The signs have been there that the Bluebirds have been on the improve however.
They just needed a good win to convince themselves they were on track.
Swifts bolted to a 26-0 lead and managed to hold on, providing a much needed confidence boost.
"We needed the win," Swifts captain Alby Talipeau said.
"We lost by six points against Norths, then were in it against Brothers before they ran away with it.
"For a confidence booster we needed it.
"We were desperate."
Swifts proved tough for Norths to put away last time they met, two weeks ago and Talipeau rated the Tigers the best team Swifts have played so far in 2015.
Swifts are a relatively new looking A- grade side this year so their slow start to the season is understandable.
Talipeau has returned from Goodna, along with several other former Eagles and coach Laurie Campbell.
They have also added former Ipswich Jets prop John Schuster, centre Jeremiah Lale from Souths Logan and fullback Nathan Jones from Bundaberg.
One of the Bluebirds' strengths, particularly now Umaga is back, is their size in the middle, with Tele Salasa and Ray Shuster already a match for any pair of props in the competition.
If they got on a roll the Bluebirds' momentum is hard to stop, as Goodna discovered last week.
But for that to happen they have to reduce errors and not be forced to defend most of the time.
"Our goal is just trying to compete and our completion rate," Talipeau said.
"If we compete at 75 percent plus we know we're in the game."
It means Norths should be prepared for an improved team to the won they struggled to beat a fortnight ago.
Talipeau has played five-eighth the past two rounds, having played mostly at lock for Swifts this season.
He said his position would depend largely on who the opposition is. Tonight's clash is likely to see him retain the six jersey to counter the experience of Norths halves Steven West and Brendon Lindsay.
"We don't really have experienced halves in our team and I'm a natural talker," Talipeau said.
IRL fixtures today
Norths v Swifts at North Ipswich Reserve (A grade 8pm; Reserve grade 6.30pm)
Goodna v West End at Woogaroo Field (A grade 8.15; Reserve grade 6.45pm)
Colts: Valleys v Brothers at Laidley Recreational Reserve at 7pm