Brothers clear on top, but it's tight for the rest
THE race for semi-final spots in the Ipswich Rugby League A-grade competition is getting tighter.
Norths' 36-22 win over Goodna and Fassifern's 13-12 defeat of Swifts yesterday means only five points separate second-placed Goodna from fifth-placed Fassifern.
Norths can move level with Goodna this weekend if the Tigers can beat Fassifern and Brothers defeat the Eagles.
"We talked about the need to get a win over one of the top two teams," Norths centre Nathan Carney said after yesterday's game at Keith Sternberg Oval.
"It's a really handy two points.
"We've now got Fassifern, Swifts and West End and if we can get four more wins we can lock up a semi-finals spot."
Swifts have gone from second to fourth following four successive losses and they are most in danger slipping out of the four.
They are likely to earn a reprieve from their poor form when they travel to winless West End on Saturday. But the Bulldogs will also believe it to be their best chance of a win this season.
Swifts led Fassifern 12-6 with 17 minutes to go at Llewellyn Motors Field but Fassifern levelled it up with a converted try.
With two minutes left Swifts were penalised for not touching the ball with the foot in the play-the-ball, infuriating Swifts players and supporters.
In the following set Bombers five-eighth Andrew Walker slotted the field goal to win the match.
Swifts out-scored the Bombers three tries to one but Walker's boot proved the difference for the premiers.
Fassifern coach Daniel Roos admitted his team was fortunate to get the points.
"I thought we were the better team in the first half," he said.
"They scored first but we had numerous opportunities.
"In the second half they played better than us and had more opportunities."
Roos, however, will happily take the two points that keep his team in the race for finals.
He gave big raps to winger David Tahavalu, who won the players-player award, taking the heat off the forwards with his enthusiastic charges into the Swifts forwards.
"He made good metres and kept working," Roos said.
"We needed to win and the guys kept digging deep."
Swifts' biggest threat came from five-eighth Josh Cleeland, who scored two of his team's three tries.
Had any of the conversions been successful it would have been the Bluebirds celebrating last night.
Roos conceded both sides were "scrappy" with poor handling and decision-making in the wet.
Given the way Norths performed in similar conditions it will require a lift from Fassifern if they are to continue their pursuit of fourth.
Brothers, meanwhile, beat West End 80-0 at Brother Seery Park yesterday.
- Brothers 20
- Goodna 14
- Norths 12
- Swifts 11
- Fassifern 9
- West End 0