Ipswich Rangers and Goodna Gladiators clash in the Barber Cup at Evan Marginson Oval tomorrow afternoon from 3pm.
Ipswich Rangers and Goodna Gladiators clash in the Barber Cup at Evan Marginson Oval tomorrow afternoon from 3pm. Claudia Baxter

Gladiators flex muscles

IPSWICH and Goodna resume their Barber Cup rivalry tomorrow with both teams looking to reassert their best form.

Goodna coach Heta Pamatatau believes his team is ready for the challenge but was unimpressed with their 7-5 win over Springfield Lakes last weekend.

A brawl erupted with Goodna leading 7-0. With the coach telling his players not to fight, the Gladiators went into their shells and were fortunate to hang on for the win.

"The boys just dropped," Pamatatau said. "There was a bit of a fight there early in the game and it put the boys off.

"But we were expecting that.

"I blew up at our team because I didn't want to see any fighting."

Until then Goodna had impressed the coach.

"We had been going really well," he said. "If not for that, I reckon we would have beaten them comfortably."

Which is why Pamatatau is confident his team can return to form against Rangers.

"We've got a good running forward pack," Pamatatau said.

"I've got them fit, which is a key to our game. The boys are happy because they feel more energetic."

Goodna has plenty of motivation against Rangers, in terms of their local rivalry and each team's semi-finals prospects.

Goodna sit in fourth spot, four points clear of fifth-placed Springfield Lakes and six behind third-placed Rangers.

"They did us last time," Pamatatau said. "But if we can beat Ipswich this weekend, we can show we're a good chance of making the top four."

Rangers are looking to improve on their win over Redcliffe last weekend with new combinations getting another chance to impress.

Promoted five-eighth Jarred Lacey retains his spot and is keen to make the most of it.

"They're all good blokes and I've got a lot of mates in the team," he said. "We pretty much play the same structures and patterns (in Reserve grade).

"I just need to guide the team around like I usually do."

Lacey was five-eighth last time the two teams met because the man he has since replaced, Stewart Banks, was absent.

Lacey knows what to expect from the Gladiators.

"We just need to play field position and not give them the ball," Lacey said.

"If they get a head of steam up, they're hard to stop."

Lacey knows an impressive performance will go a long way to keeping him in the top grade.

"As much as I like playing second grade, you always want to play the best rugby you can," he said. "It's my goal to stay there as long as I can."

Meanwhile, Springfield Lakes travels to Everton Park to play Brisbane Irish.



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