Brothers player Edward Pabai scores in the corner during last weekend's Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade win over Goodna.
Brothers player Edward Pabai scores in the corner during last weekend's Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade win over Goodna. Rob Williams

Rising Ipswich talents follow superstar Ash



IPSWICH has a new superstar in Ash Barty.

She become Australia's first French Open winner in over 46 years to achieve this feat and did it with ease.

It is great to finally write a positive tennis article about an Australian player.

Barty is unfazed on the court when a ruling goes against her.

She seems to be able to move on without any disruptions, a trait that a few male players could really learn from.

This victory has propelled her to a ranking of number two in the world.

She could soon become number one.

Ash has done Ipswich proud.

Fine young men

THEY say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and this is true in recent times in Ipswich.

The sons of two great sportmen have forged a career in the footsteps of their fathers.

The first is 16 year old Sam Walker (son of Jets co-coach Ben), who has had a great year in rugby league by being named in the Queensland under-18 side that defeated NSW last week. Sam is also in the Queensland Schoolboys team.

Sam had more than 10 NRL clubs looking to sign him, as well as the ARU. But after being at the Broncos for over five years, he has opted to sign with the Sydney Roosters on a deal that would make him one of the richest 16-year-olds.

The other rising star is Western Pride's Joshua Boyle, who has been selected in the Queensland football team after some great work for his Met West team in Toowoomba.

Joshua's father is Pat, the general manager of Western Pride and a superb player in his younger days.

While Pat was a defender with a booming voice and tough as nails attitude, Josh is a goalkeeper who is dedicated to the game and one of the finest young players you will meet.

Both these young gentleman have big futures in their chosen sports.

I am sure in the years ahead, we will be talking about these boys from Ipswich.

RLI report cards

1. Brothers: The A-Grade ladder leaders are the team that everyone must keep up with. The addition of Wes Conlon has been a master stroke with the star leading from the front. He has been well supported by Chris Ash, Michael Saili-Motu and Robert Kennedy. The club has great depth by the showing of Reserve grade who also sit at the top. They are rightly the premiership favourites.

2. Swifts: Have put in some below par efforts this year but when they put it together they are a very dangerous side. The Bluebirds always have a great forward pack but with the signing of Jake O'Doherty they have gone up a notch. They will be in the top four come finals time but need to get more consistent as the back end of the season starts. Coach O'Donohue has to keep their minds on the job.

3. Redbank: Have been the biggest improvers in the RLI competition this year built on a forward pack that rolls the sleeves up when required and a backline that knows how to score tries. They do the little things right and this has enabled them to hold a top four position for most of the season. They have signed some quality players recently in Andrew Vela and Adrian Elder who will increase their chances when the big games come.

4. Goodna: Started the season as one of the heavyweights with a star-studded team who were blowing all comers away. However, some recent indifferent form has seen them slip down the ladder. On their day, the Eagles can match it with any team but need to show more consistent form or they will have to win the premiership the hard way from fourth. With Zac Lemberg leading the forwards and Brett Kelly's free running in the backline, Goodna can't be written off.

5. Norths: A very young side that struggled early in the season before turning it around with some good victories. The acquisition of Steven West, Jarrod Biggs and Jacob Stephan has culminated in the younger players getting more confidence and the results have started to come. They still need to compete with the top sides but a finals' spot is possible.

6. Fassifern: Have really struggled this year after losing a majority of their premiership-winning team from last year. The huge turnover has resulted in their players struggling for combinations. A bright light has been five-eight Mitchell Range, who has tried his hardest to spark them in most games. With three PNG boys now here, the Bombers could cause some problems to teams looking at playing finals.

7. West End: The Bulldogs started the year with a side I thought might sneak into the top four. However, their lack of depth at the club has really hurt them. They have lost several players to injury and unfortunately didn't have the cattle to replace them. They can start planning for next season.

Top RLI players

RLI Player of the Year latest points: Fassifern v Norths - 3 Lopi Folau (Norths), 2 Mitchell Range (Fassifern), 1 Jarrod Biggs (Norths).

Swifts v West End: 3 Jake O'Doherty (Swifts), 2 Mitchell Molloy (Swifts), 1 Aiden Boyce (West End).

Goodna v Brothers: 3 Josh Leisemann (Brothers), 2 Brett Kelly (Goodna), 1 Isacc Creedy (Brothers).

Player of the Year standings: 15 Wes Conlon (Brothers); 10 Aiden Boyce (West End), Brett Kelly (Goodna); 9 Jake O'Doherty (Swifts).

A-Grade ladder: 32 Brothers, 31 Swifts, 30 Redbank, 28 Goodna, 24 Norths, 18 Fassifern, 17 West End.

Reserve Grade ladder: 34 Brothers, 33 Goodna, 31 Fassifern, 26 Swifts, 24 Redbank, 18 Norths, 14 Rosewood, 12 West End.

U20 ladder: 23 Brothers, 18 Goodna, 16 Redbank, 13 Norths.

2nd Division: 15 Brothers, 10 Swifts, 9 Norths, 8 Fassifern, 6 Goodna.

Quick thoughts

HERO of the week: Swimmer Emma McKeon swam a brilliant race to upset Ariane Titmus and win the 200 metre freestyle final at the World Championship trials on the Coast. McKeon was hoping to swim well but was shocked with her personal best time in over three years.

Villain of the week: When is Cowboys forward Josh McGuire going to learn to keep his fingers away from the eyes of opponents. He has got lucky so far with two fines. Next time, he will be having a little holiday.

Did you know? 1. Australia has won the most World Cups in cricket, a record five.

2. Chris Gayle has scored the fastest double century, reaching the total in 138 balls.

3. Glenn McGrath has taken the most wicket with 71 scalps.

Bomber's best: Finally a win backing the Swans and Magpies.

This week, my Ipswich Cup tip is Bergerac. Another winner looms in Race 4: No 1 Mr Bellagio.

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