Old Boys inspire Rangers
IPSWICH Rangers hope to give their former players something to cheer about at Woodend tomorrow.
Rangers welcome Wynnum in the Barber Cup encounter, which coincides with the club's annual Old Boys day.
They will need to put on a better show than last week, when they lost 25-24 to Brisbane Irish, placing their semi-final credentials in jeopardy.
"It's a massive one for the club," Rangers captain Charlie Scott said.
"It's probably our biggest Old Boys game in a while considering the stakes. We've got to win every game from here."
They will have to do it without Scott, who has been told not to play for six weeks due to a bulging disc in his neck.
It has given him pins and needles and reduced strength in his left arm, so he is likely to be out until finals begin.
"If I'm right come finals time I'll have to ask Rob (coach Rob Sadler) if I can get a run," he said.
"It was a bit worrying at the time.
"I'm not stuffing about with it.
"But I'm more disappointed I'm going to miss the game."
Scott knows his leadership will come in handy if Rangers are to build some momentum heading into the finals.
"We've got a few players nursing injuries and our backs are against the wall," Scott said. "But Rob's structures are going to work.
"I think they can really open up Wynnum. The way they've played hasn't really changed.
"They like to run a forward pack wide, go one way and try to switch the attack back the other way.
"But they don't want to go past a couple of rucks."
It is all good in theory, but Rangers have to master their own game before they can target any supposed weaknesses in the opposition.
"We need to put in a complete game," Scott said. "If we do we will be at the best sides.
"We showed that when we beat Redlands. If we can do it this week we can get the ball rolling.
"We've got no other option."
Wynnum sit on 39 points, one behind Redlands and 14 points ahead of Rangers, who sit one point ahead of Springfield in fourth.
It means Rangers are unlikely to be able to catch the top two, even with a run of wins.
But Brisbane Irish sit just four points behind Rangers and are a threat to the Ipswich team's presence in the four-team semi-finals.
It was communication Scott believes let Rangers down against Irish and which will need to improve drastically against Wynnum.
But with Scott and fellow experienced forward Dan Egan unavailable it will require others to take responsibility.
"For our structures to work we've got to be working hard in the pack to talk to each other," Scott said.
"I can't knock our effort from last week. We've just got to be more organised.
"At times we dominate them, then we just went to sleep."
The Barber Cup clash starts at 3pm, following the Pegg Cup game between the clubs from 1.30pm.
Meanwhile, Springfield hosts Pine Rivers in the Barber Cup at Springfield Lakes at 3pm tomorrow.