Brothers winger Don Vilitama dives over to score in last weekend’s Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade match against Swifts at Purga. It was one of only three Brothers tries as Swifts dominated the match. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Brothers winger Don Vilitama dives over to score in last weekend’s Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade match against Swifts at Purga. It was one of only three Brothers tries as Swifts dominated the match. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Norths face mighty defensive test against Swifts


Anthony Breeze

SWIFTS have become outright favourites for the Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade title after an eventful round three.

The Ipswich Jets and Fassifern also secured their first wins.

What will Round 4 bring?

Saturday (6pm) - Norths v Swifts at North Ipswich

NORTHS delivered a brave effort last weekend before falling to the Jets.

Swifts turned on an awesome performance in demolishing Brothers.

The Tigers will need to step up a few notches if they are to tame the Bluebirds. They will rely heavily on Ethan Page who was in great form last week.

New half Lachlan Williamson must give some clean ball to his centres in Betteins and Lowe who are both powerful ball runners.

Norths defended well last week but dropped too much ball. They cannot afford to do that in this game or the Swifts attack will carve them up.

BLUEBIRDS ATTACK: Dangerous Swifts shut down Brothers

Swifts last week showed the rest of the competition that they will be the team to beat with a clinical dismantling of fellow powerhouses in Brothers. They were powerful through the forwards and very slick in the backline.

Props Tanavasa and Mosby were great and this rubbed off on fellow forwards Hillie, Samatua and Hemopo who also were very destructive.

While the forwards were great, the backs were also in scintillating form with Okot, Vatuinaruku and Velakapa running at will out wide.

Norths will need to be on their game or the score could get out of hand. However, the Tigers showed enough in defence to be well in this game.

Norths have the home ground advantage and it's a Saturday night at the Den.

But the Bluebirds have too many attacking weapons for the Tigers to handle.

Tip: Swifts.

Saturday (7pm) - Fassifern v Ipswich Jets at Harrisville

FASSIFERN scored their opening win last week to get their season started while the Jets also recorded their first win in their title push.

The Bombers welcomed the return of big Mahe Paseka and he put in a man of the match performance with many strong charges into the Eagles defence.

Fellow prop Charlie Christensen was also strong and young back rower Braden Schiller was very busy in the middle of the field.

Half James Bulgarelli and centre Bernard Mosby were great for the Bombers also with both men crossing for two tries.

Fassifern were good last week but will need to be better this week as the Jets just keep on coming.

While the Jets recorded a win last week, coach Phil Dennis wasn't happy with the completion rate as they dropped a heap of ball on early tackles.

JETS WARNING: Team yet to click

When they did hold the ball, half Toby was dangerous around the middle and centre Waqalevu was hard to put down and was very busy in defence.

Prop Flocus had his best game of the year charging into the defence while Jacks was super in the middle as per usual causing alarm bells whenever he ran the ball.

Fassifern will be playing under lights for the first time at home. They will be in the game for a long period but the Jets will play for the full 80 minutes which will be enough for them to win this game.

Tip: Jets.

Sunday (3pm) - Brothers v Goodna at Brothers

BROTHERS were poor last week as they were embarrassed by the Bluebirds.

Goodna also put in a poor performance in their loss to the Bombers at home.

Brothers were missing a few troops but that shouldn't excuse what they dished out on the field as it was very unlike Brethren performance.

Brothers hope to welcome back some of the troops, especially Josh Leisemann who has been in career best form early in the season.

The forwards must also muscle up in defence as the Bluebirds busted them up the middle on several occasions last weekend.

Coach Jason Connors would have studied the video and seen where the side needs improving.

Watch for the team to rebound with a much better performance this week.

The Eagles were poor in the first half last week before producing a much better effort in the second.

They will need to start fast or Brothers will pile on a heap of pressure and the scoreboard will be clicking over constantly.

Half Mana Fox-Swney was creative in the middle but needs his forwards to go with him if they are to get a win in this clash.

Tip: Brothers.


Quick thoughts

WINNERS: 1. The Queensland Reds rounded out their season with a come-from-behind victory over the Brumbies to clinch the crown.

2. Marnus Labuschagne, who was awarded the Ian Healy Medal st the recent Queensland Cricket presentation night. He also won Queensland's Sheffield Shield Player of the Year honour after a super year for the Bulls.

LOSERS: 1. When will NRL coaches realise that they cannot criticise referees at post game press conferences. Take the emotion out of it and comment on your team's performance instead.

2. West Coast's Willie Rioli must get his life in order or his AFL career will be over soon. Rioli is talented but that can only take you so far.

NRL upwards

1. The Cowboys started slow but have gradually improved as the season has moved along. If they can find some consistency, they are capable of making the top eight.

2. What a change in fortune one man can make to a team with the Sea Eagles now a genuine chance of making the top eight. Tommy Turbo is firing. They looked like potential wooden spooners early in the season.

3. The Storm and Panthers were in awesome form last week and will be hard to beat in coming weeks if that form remains.

NRL downwards

1. The Rabbits and Sharks were terrible last week with both teams getting smashed by 50 and 48 points respectively.

2. The Broncos had enough ball to win their clash over the Cowboys but they just don't have a player that can ice a game.

3. Parramatta's Dylan Brown must regret his use of the knees in trying to stop a try being scored. He has three weeks to think about his actions.

Sporting birthdays May 13

1. 1914: Joe Louis - Regarded as one of the greatest boxing heavyweights of all time. He defended his crown on 25 occasions.

2. 1961: Colourful American basketballer Dennis Rodman, who won the NBA title five times. He was a great defender and even better rebounder.

On this day

1. 1950: First ever race of the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship is run at Silverstone. Italian Giuseppe Farina of Italy wins in a Alfa Romero.

2. 2007: Matthew Briggs becomes the youngest player to play an English Premier League match when he debuts aged 16 years and 65 days.

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