Ipswich rugby rivals bracing for home town duel
RUGBY UNION: All rugby roads lead to Woodend on Saturday when the Ipswich Rangers host the Goodna Gladiators in a highly anticipated Barber Cup derby.
Both sides are coming off away losses on the weekend with Wynnum beating the Goodna Gladiators 40-24 and competition leaders Pine Rivers Boars defeating the Rangers 67-13.
Ipswich Rangers president Jason Dutton said that while results hadn't gone the club's way this year the derby on Saturday, on Old Boys day, would be a cracker.
"There is a good history of rivalry and there has always been strong competition between the two clubs,” Dutton said.
"The guys enjoy that city rivalry, and even when Springfield had sides in the competition it was the same.
"It is good, hard rugby and that builds up the excitement and adds to the enjoyment the guys get out of it. We have juniors in the morning and then from noon our over 35s are having a run and then we've got two games against Goodna.”
The two clubs will also do battle at Woodend Park in the Pegg Cup.
The Rangers had a wave of sickness go through the ranks so unfortunately had to forfeit to Pine Rivers in Pegg Cup on the weekend.
Dutton said that was not indicative of the effort that had gone in to the season.
"Our numbers have been very good as have the turnouts at training,” he said.
"The season has been a good platform towards next year which will be our 50th.
"We are trying to position ourselves well with our coaching team and our player base for next year.
"As a club we are very excited to be celebrating our 50th in 2018. Not too many get to celebrate that milestone.”
There are only five teams in both the Pegg and Barber Cup competitions with the top four playing in the finals.
The Rangers are last in the Barber Cup but still within striking distance of fourth. They are in fourth position in Pegg Cup and can still play finals in that competition.
The Goodna Gladiators are in second spot in the Pegg Cup after losing 22-19 to Wynnum on Saturday and are running third in the Barber Cup.
The Rangers will be underdogs on Saturday and will be hoping for a full complement of players.
"After the sickness and injuries we have had hopefully the guys are up for a good show this weekend,” Dutton said.