Record at home on the line
GOODNA return home tonight intent to continue their unbeaten run at Woogaroo Field.
Four wins ahead of the third placed Brothers and Swifts, Goodna coach Lawrie Campbell is determined to avoid the knock-out stages of the Ipswich Rugby League finals with a top two finish.
“We are into our last block of training at the moment,” Campbell said. “We’ll give it to them for another five weeks and then ease off to get ready for the finals.
“The boys and the staff have to stay focused because it’s easy to find yourself dropping a couple of games and you don’t want to playing in a knock out come finals.”
After securing their second straight IRL premiership, Norths have struggled to find their form this season but that has only made Campbell more wary going into tonight’s clash.
“They have been losing a bit this season but they are still the defending premiers,” he said. “You’ve always got to be wary of them because they are due for a win and anyone in this competition can beat anyone else.”
Aware of Goodna’s penchant for losing intensity halfway through the season, Campbell said the difference this year was that the players themselves were shouldering the responsibility.
“The boys are responding well because we’ve mixed it up and kept it interesting,” he said. “It’s my job to give them the tools but it’s up to them to use them and use them well.
“If you can give them the responsibility and the onus is on them then they respond well to that. They deserve everything they get because they’d trained hard and I definitely don’t muck around at training.”
As injuries continue to take make an impact of every team in the competition, the versatility of players taking on new position is something Campbell has been keen to develop.
“”We’ve tried a few positional changes at training this week,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of players out and it can be hard to cover all positions so I’ve tried to give them a go in positions you may require. I’ve had a few new combinations going this week to try some new things, and we’ve got some very versatile players.”
Goodna Eagles v Norths Tigers from 6pm tonight at Woogaroo Field.
Brothers Ipswich v Swifts Bluebirds from 3pm tomorrow at Brother Seery Oval.
West End Bulldogs v Fassifern Bombers from 3pm tomorrow at Daniel’s Park.