On-song Hornets footballers face toughest test
IPSWICH is on course to take out the Zone 4 under-12 rugby league carnival at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
The home team has won its first four games by a combined margin of 120-16. However, the toughest test is yet to come.
Ipswich takes on the other undefeated side, Gold Coast, in today's game at 11am. It is effectively the grand final.
Yesterday Ipswich beat Roma 28-4 in what coach Alex Busuttil rated their best performance of the tournament this week.
"It was our commitment in defence," Busuttil said of what impressed him most.
"We worked for each other and it all came together.
"We really came out of the blocks and dominated."
In particular it was the second-row combination of captain Tui Gregory and Jai McGarrigal, along with centre Rory Dillon who led the way in defence.
On the back of the committed defensive display the Ipswich backs were able to run amok.
"When we use our backs we score points," the coach said.
"If our forwards make some room it gives our backs plenty of room."
It was not just the backs scoring the tries with Tui crossing twice.
Busuttil only hopes Ipswich's improvement continues today.
He knows his forwards will need to establish a similar platform against the formidable Gold Coast team, who will be just as keen to try and dominate the ruck battle, if they are to claim the title.
"I'm quietly confident, but you can never underestimate the Gold Coast," Busuttil said as he watched them play yesterday.
"Us and the Coast have the bigger areas to get players from.
"They move the ball around quite a bit and they certainly get up off the line and try to dominate so it will be an interesting game."
It is the same game plan Ipswich hopes to employ so the winner is likely to come down to the team which executes its plan better.
"If we stay strong, work hard and stick to the game plan it will be an interesting game," Busuttil said. "We will need our forwards to dominate to open it up."
For Busuttil and the players, it is the culmination of two years of planning, hard work and team building.
"I'll tell them to go out, have fun and the result will fall into place,'' the coach said.
State of Play
The unbeaten Ipswich Hornets play for the Zone 4 title in today's 11am match against Gold Coast at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Yesterday's match: Ipswich 28 (Tui Gregory 2, Dominic Afaele, Liam Wernowski, Joel Brett tries; Billy Soderquist, Boden Ingram, Jai McGarrigal, Rory Dillon goals) def Roma 4.