Last hurrah for White as Ipswich face sink-or-swim scenarios
IT IS crunch time for the two Ipswich teams in the Brisbane Women's Rugby League this weekend.
In the final round of regular season fixtures, Norths need to upset second-placed Beerwah at North Ipswich to ensure they play Division One finals.
In Division 2, Swifts need to beat bottom-placed Wynnum Manly and hope third-placed Wests Inala slip up against second-from-bottom Capalaba to sneak a spot in the finals.
Norths at least have their fate in their own hands, as well as the motivation to win, knowing it will be veteran Veronica White's last game of league if they don't.
White was the first player from an Ipswich team to be picked to play for Australia, when she was with Brothers in the late 1990s.
"It'll be a tough game," the Ipswich State High teacher said.
The Tigers have yet to beat Beerwah this season but White is confident they are close.
"They've been together a lot longer than us and are probably a lot fitter," she said.
"We've been in front against them in the first half, then they've come and grabbed us.
"But we seemed to be switched on at training."
White expects the home game with a near full-strength squad and a semi-final spot to play for to be enough to get Norths home.
"In our past three games, we've been short of numbers and had to work a lot harder," she said.
"But we've really gelled together as a team."
Tactically, White believes her team has identified where it can exploit Beerwah but it all starts with the forwards.
"Beerwah are a bit more structured so we've got to stick to ours and put it all on the line," she said.
"Definitely we need to get on top in the forwards.
"They are a bit weak on the edges so there's two areas we can target."
White will start in the centres where she can use her experience to guide the youngsters around her and probe for any Beerwah weaknesses.
"I'm no speedster," the 43-year-old said.
"In the centres I can have a bit of a rest and move into the second row later on.
"I'll be constantly talking, especially with the younger players who need encouragement, and let them know where they need to be."
Brisbane Women's League
Standings heading into the final round this weekend.
- Div 1: Souths Logan 31, Beerwah 27, Burleigh Heads 19, North Ipswich 11, Carina 9, Aspley 5
- Div 2: Waterford 25, Toowoomba 25, Burpengary 24, Wests Inala 15, Swifts 14, Pine Rivers 13, Capalaba 6, Wynnum Manly 6.