Hawks fine-tune for cup clash of title contenders

SPRINGFIELD Hawks have wrapped up the perfect preparation heading into their biggest game of the season this weekend.

The Hawks beat Redcliffe 37-14 to keep the pressure on Barber Cup ladder leaders Wynnum, who beat Ipswich Rangers 24-8 at Wynnum.

Wynnum is the only team to have beaten the Hawks this season and the two teams meet on Saturday at Springfield Lakes.

Hawks coach Jeremy Clark believes the looming top-of-the-table clash is providing the motivation that has seen a lift in recent performances.

"I think we'll be at full strength," Clark said. "We will be missing one or two but we should have enough depth to cover."

On Saturday Springfield had 21 fresh players for their Barber Cup clash, after their Reserve grade side had beaten Redcliffe 15-8 to remain equal top of the Pegg Cup, alongside Wynnum.

While other clubs are struggling for players due to injury and the inevitable loss of motivation that comes with mid-winter, the Hawks are thriving.

"It's a long season to keep them motivated the whole time," Clark said.

"I think it's mainly because of next week, when we'll be playing for the President's Cup.

"It's really a mental thing to show us where we're at.

"Our only concern is if we don't turn up switched on. We're our own worst enemy at times."

On Saturday's showing Clark is confident his players are in the right mental frame.

"Redcliffe are a very physical side," he said.

"But we dominated them and led 22-7 at half-time.

"It was almost the perfect 40 minutes."

Clark was delighted his players stuck to the game plan and didn't divert from it, even when it was obvious they had the game in the bag.

He had instructed his team to play more directly, using pick and drive tactics around the ruck, rather than running across field.

Clark rated blind-side flanker Panapa Asiata, fullback John-Paul Reville and tight-head prop Jarrod Playford his team's best in the win.

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