Queensland Country recruit backs Hancocks rise
HANCOCK Brothers captain Sara Rogers is happy to be back in the Queensland Country side after a call-up for the Australian titles this month.
She heads to Geraldton in Western Australia for her third nationals campaign having also represented Australian Country in Asia earlier this year.
"It's a good opportunity and I enjoy stepping up and playing with the Queensland girls," the fitness fanatic said.
However, while preparing for her latest representative mission, Rogers is also focused on helping defending premiers Hancocks build momentum for the fast-approaching finals.
After their latest 7-1 A-grade loss to leaders Swifts, Hancocks remain in third, chasing second-placed Wests.
However, Rogers has faith in her team's ability to peak for the playoffs.
"We've been a bit hot and cold. We haven't had a full team on the park for a little while," Rogers, 26, said.
"We're biding our time. We know what we can produce in our semi-finals and finals."
Hancocks were without promising teenagers Natalie Davison and Layla Eleison for Sunday's match.
Davison is playing for the Northern Territory under-18 team at the national titles in Canberra.
Eleison was rested over the weekend having a big role to play representing Ipswich at this week's under-15 state titles at Raceview.
Hancocks key striker Aimee McDermott could miss the rest of the season with stress fractures in her leg.
Rogers said Hancocks' main goal was securing second spot for the finals.
"We know we are good enough to compete with both Wests and Swifts," she said.
"We haven't lost to Wests this season yet.
"Swifts are scoring a lot of goals but we took a lot of positives out of the game.
"We're quite happy with our fitness levels even though we defended a majority of that match.
"We did have a lot attacking opportunities. We just couldn't convert."
A week earlier, Hancocks beat Thistles 6-0 in what Rogers rated one of her team's best performances.
However, Hancocks will need to regain that form after Swifts captain Anne-Marie Callow netted another hat-trick on Sunday.
In other A-grade women's games, Rangeville outclassed Norths Ipswich 7-0, Norths Tooowomba beat Bellbowrie 2-1 and Thistles had a much-needed 2-1 win over Past High.
The most telling A-grade men's result was leaders Easts outlasting second-placed Wests 4-2 on Sunday at Raceview.
Daniel Mantell netted another four goals after back-to-back hat-tricks for the Tigers.
The Hancocks men enjoyed a 7-2 victory over Norths Toowoomba.
Norths Ipswich beat Past High 4-2 in Toowoomba.
State of Play
A Grade men: Hancock Brothers 7 (J Christensen 2, J Pavitt, S Drew, D Howells, D Pavitt, J Kneen) d Norths Toowoomba 2 (J Robertson, J Torissi); Easts 4 (D Mantell 4) d Wests 2 (T Watson, B Nicholls); Norths Ipswich 4 (N Maddocks 2, B Taylor, M Pocock) d Past High 2.
A Grade women: Norths Toowoomba 2 (A Mutch, L Mahoney) d Bellbowrie 1 (D Coombes); Swifts 7 (A Callow 3, K Bennett 2, K Schneider, A Stacey) d Hancock Brothers 1 (R Clarke); Rangeville 7 d Norths Ipswich 0; Thistles 2 (T Fraser, S Jeffreys) d Past High 1.