Rugby League Ipswich action returns this weekend after A-Grade players represented the Ipswich Diggers in last weekend’s Chairman's Challenge tournament. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Rugby League Ipswich action returns this weekend after A-Grade players represented the Ipswich Diggers in last weekend’s Chairman's Challenge tournament. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Farewell ‘Rodgo’: Tributes flow to great footy backer

BOMBER'S BLAST

Anthony Breeze

THE Ipswich Rugby League fraternity and Brothers Football Club were saddened early in the week when news came through that Ian "Rodgo'' Rodgers had passed away after a long, tough fight.

Everyone that knew this great man always had positive things to say about him. He will be a big loss to all those who had the honour of meeting or working with him.

Rodgo had dedicated his early life to touch football where he is a life member.

A huge part of his life was his beloved Brothers Football Club where he also is a life member.

No job was too big for him and he gave his all to every position he took on.

Brothers rugby league stalwart Ian Rodgers.
Brothers rugby league stalwart Ian Rodgers.

Tributes have flowed on the Brothers page from current and past players.

Common messages can be found in all of them like words "genuine", "kind heart", "nice bloke", "legend" and "champion".

He will be sorely missed.

I would like to pass on condolences to his lovely wife Eleanor who was right beside him for 53 years.

Rodgo, thank you for being a great friend.

Like you said to me only a month ago, us Parramatta supporters must stick together.

Rest in Peace champion.

Terrific RLI battles resume

RUGBY League Ipswich action returns this weekend after the Ipswich Diggers games with some big clashes looming.

Saturday (7pm): Ipswich Jets v Norths at Rosewood

This encounter should be an open affair with both teams young and enthusiastic.

The Jets will have the experience with several players having played at a higher level but Norths are a team that is built on the old Tiger spirit meaning they will fight until the end.

The Jets will be led around the park by half Jacob Teevan who will rely on his big forward pack to gain the ascendancy in the middle of the field. If they can do that, Teevan will be spreading the ball wide for his backs to do their thing.

One man Norths must keep an eye on is winger Dominic Macumboy who is coming off a good weekend with the Ipswich Diggers.

Fellow winger Sam Langbein also likes to get heavily involved. He will be coming in to take the pressure off his forwards.

Norths have only had one hitout this year after a bye in Round 1 so they will be fresh for this game.

The young Tigers forward pack will be led by Lopi Folau, who will be doing the tough stuff in the middle. But he must have fellow forwards rolling their sleeves up and giving him a hand.

Norths also have players out wide who can find the tryline and must get good early service to outside backs Matty Betteins and Prezley Lowe. They have started the season in fine form.

Tip: Jets in a tight game. They will win it late through their fitness.

Sunday (3pm): Goodna v Fassifern at Goodna

Goodna have started the season with one win and one loss.

The Eagles must start this game better than their did against Swifts where they were outclassed in the first half by a faster Bluebirds side.

The Eagles did however settle down in the second half and play some good football in patches with Tristan Sami taking the reins and settling his young side down. He again will be urging his forward pack to roll their sleeves up and share the workload which will make it easier for Sami to get the ball out to Brian Timai who has looked very dangerous early in the season.

Fassifern are coming off a last round loss to Norths where they dropped too much ball.

Coach Cam Wallace would have been drilling into his side over the past two weeks to value possession much more.

Charlie Christensen has been leading the way for the Bombers but needs help in the middle if they are going to get away with this one.

Centre Dale Ward has been getting his hands on plenty of ball and must again get involved if the Bombers are to be a chance in this clash.

The Bombers were dealt injury blows early in the season and still have several players out. However, they will hopefully improve on their efforts in the opening two games.

Tip: Goodna. I have seen enough in them to see improvement. Home ground advantage will win them this one but it will be tight.

Sunday (3pm): Swifts vs Brothers at Swifts

The match of the round and the West Bremer Radio big match.

We have two undefeated teams in exciting form so early in the season.

Brothers have taken all before them with solid victories over Fassifern and the Jets with 2019 Rugby League Ipswich Player of the Year Wes Conlon leading the way.

Brothers danger man Wes Conlon.
Brothers danger man Wes Conlon.

He however hasn't been a one-man show with fellow half Josh Leisemann in career best form with his kicking game and chase setting the standard.

Big Fijian Jono Macilai has been in devastating form. He is coming off a great representative weekend, where he tore into the opposition taking some huge carries.

While Macilai has been brilliant early, the rest of the forward pack has also done their fair share of the work and the Bretheren will be looking for them to continue that is this game.

Brothers build their game through the forwards and then let their backs do their thing. Nothing will change in this game.

Swifts looked impressive in their two first-up outings. They must be on their game for the entire 80 minutes or this game will slip away from their grasp.

Watch for big Jericho Tanavasa to lead the Bluebirds pack. If they can get the ascendancy, hooker Hafoki will create some havoc in the middle.

Swifts have some exciting outside backs led by ex-Jet Nemani Velakapa who has shown the RLI competition the skills that earned him higher honours.

Ratu Vatunaruku also has been heavily involved early.

Watch for him to again get his hands on the ball as he is a very tough man to bring down.

Tip: Brothers. They have been in super form early and created many chances. This game will be

hard fought and a tight affair. The winner will only appear late in the game where Conlon comes into his own.

NRL upwards

1. Brisbane Broncos fans finally had a chance to celebrate another victory with a come-from-behind victory over arch rivals the Titans. Can they continue that form this weekend against fellow Queenslanders, the Cowboys?

2. The Roosters keep getting injuries during games but continue to get the job done. They are one of the only clubs that can keep performing at a high level without a host of their star players.

3. Bronco Kotoni Staggs has finally signed his future contract and will stay with Brisbane. This is one player the Broncos had to keep. If he comes back from injury well, the Broncos will win more games towards the end of the season.

NRL downwards

1. The Raiders were a team that everyone thought would be a strong contender for the NRL premiership this year but they have lost four on the trot. Cracks are starting to appear.

2. The Titans led 22-0 over the Broncos and lost. They are in terrible form and starting to slip down the ladder. The Titans must address their tackling as it has been horrible.

3. Joseph Tapine is a good football player but should be telling his partner to get off social media after bagging his current coach. This is not going to end well and stay tuned for future developments.

Winners

1. Ash Barty continued her great form on clay by defeating Petra Kvitova and making the final of the Madrid Open. She is going to be hard to beat at the upcoming French Open.

2. Just when you may have thought the Richmond Tigers were heading downwards, they show you the form that has taken them to back-to-back premierships. The Tigers are a huge chance of making it three straight.

Losers

1. Former cricketer Michael Slater for attacking the Prime Minister about the plight of cricketers and officials stuck in India. If you go chasing money during a pandemic them you get what you sow.

2. New Broncos boss Dave Donaghy for his poor comments about vultures from other clubs pinching his players. Every club does it but this is the first time it has affected the Broncos so now it's apparently an issue.

Sporting birthdays May 6

1. 1931: Willie Mays - American Baseball Hall of Famer, 24 x MLB All Star and 12 x Gold Glove Award.

2. 1989: Chris Paul - American basketball point guard who was a nine-time NBA All Star.

On this day

1. 1915: Future Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth hits his first home run.

2. 1954: Roger Bannister becomes the first man to run a sub four minute mile. Bannister recorded 3:59.4 to win in Oxford.

3. 1987: Mario Andretti sets a one lap speed record at Indy at 218.20 miles per hour.



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