Calling footy fans: Enjoy semi-finals and junior gala day
APART from some disappointing crowd numbers in the early rounds, Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker has been happy with the inaugural Volunteers Cup competition.
Stronger fan support at recent club days hosted by Goodna, Gatton and Norths created better football atmospheres after scattered numbers at the early North Ipswich Reserve rounds.
Parker hopes to see more terrific support at Saturday's semi-finals where Ipswich is represented by three competition teams.
Norths Tigers tackle Toowoomba Valleys at 3pm before a massive showdown between pacesetters Goodna Eagles and the unpredictable West End Bulldogs at 5pm.
A junior gala day and women's match at the North Ipswich Reserve may also help generate a better finals footy experience.
The young footballers will have a Tackle Ready session from 9am before some fun games from 9.30am.
The women's semi-final at 1.30pm features Norths Tigers, who finished second in the SEQW Division 2 competition.
The winner of the game against third-placed Redlands advances to the grand final.
Parker was pleased with the overall response to the Volunteers Cup series, which came together quickly after fears an entire season would be lost.
"The teams have been very happy and the Toowoomba sides were appreciative of giving it a go,'' Parker said.
"The only disappointment probably for us in Ipswich is the crowds haven't been great, although Goodna had a real good crowd.
"That's probably the biggest crowd they've had for years.''
Country rugby league fans also supported Gatton's round of fixtures the previous week and Norths had a successful reunion at their home base.
Parker was pleased to see three Ipswich competition sides in the semi-finals.
"The only team from Toowoomba that might have been a bit stiff not to be there would be Gatton,'' he said.
"They tried very hard. They lost a couple of games by two points. They are a young side . . . but they were competitive all the way through.''
The RLI chairman rated Toowoomba Rugby League champions Valleys a major threat to the Ipswich teams chasing grand final glory.
"They know what they have to do once grand final day comes,'' Parker said.
Meanwhile, two rounds are left in the junior rugby league competition. No finals are being contested this year.
RLI Volunteers Cup semi-finals at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday.
3pm: Norths v Valleys
5pm: Goodna v West End
SEQW Division 2 semi-final (1.30pm): Norths Tigers v Redlands
A junior gala day is planned from 9am where kids will enjoy a session on tackling and some games.