NEVER GIVE UP: Ipswich Eagles coach Kym Mansell.
NEVER GIVE UP: Ipswich Eagles coach Kym Mansell. Rob Williams

Finals challenge: Eagles need to show why they are 'best'

AUSSIE RULES: The Ipswich Eagles are focused on adopting their opponents' trademark endurance to advance in this year's QFA Division 3 finals series.

Experienced Eagles coach Kym Mansell is mindful how Saturday's qualifying final rivals Wynnum play.

"They don't give up,'' he said, preparing for the 2pm clash at Wynnum.

"We're the best side in the competition for first quarters. We've won 15 out of 16.

"So it's a matter of just keeping the foot down and don't let them back in. They (Wynnum) keep plugging away.''

After resting eight regular top team players last weekend, Mansell is confident his third-placed side can match the team that finished above them after the regular season.

"Some of them needed it (a break),'' Mansell said. "If we play four quarters, we win.''

Among key Eagles players returning are co-captain Matthew Sheridan, Josh Stockill, Keith Brick, Matthew Whitlock and Trent McCrossen.

Simon O'Donnell was being monitored after battling illness through the week.

The Eagles were also considering a "shock selection'' in bringing former club stalwart Aaron Fortescue back for the final.

Fortescue has been in Melbourne the past three years after being one of Ipswich's most dependable players for a number of seasons.

With key contributor Jarrod Prakelt out for the final series with rib damage, Mansell was keeping all options open.

Victory on Saturday will also give the Eagles a clash with competition leaders Moreton Bay in the following week's preliminary final for a shot of making the grand final.

He said the chance of moving a step closer to another grand final should provide the motivation his players need to upstage Wynnum.

After Saturday's game, the focus will move to Sunday's QFAW Division 2 North grand final at Yeronga.

The Ipswich Eagles women are playing in their first grand final, tackling Hinterland after a strong surge at the end of their season.

State of play

QFA Division 3 qualifying final: Saturday (2pm) - Ipswich Eagles v Wynnum at Kianawah Road.

QFAW Division 2 North grand final: Sunday (10am) - Ipswich Eagles v Hinterland at Leyshon Park, Yeronga.



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