Swifts grit and flair facing test against Goodna might
RUGBY LEAGUE: The character and depth of Swifts Bluebirds has to come to the fore in their Ipswich A Grade premiership quest.
Coach Steve O'Connell has hailed the way the young guns and Reserve graders have stepped up and proven themselves to be first graders of the present and future.
Swifts drew at the death against Norths two weeks ago with a penalty after the bell and came back to beat Brothers 30-22 last week after trailing 22-4.
The club faces a huge challenge tonight against the second placed Goodna Eagles at Woogaroo Field, but O'Connell has liked what he's seen in recent weeks.
"They are all really playing for each other,” O'Connell said.
"We have a huge injury toll at the moment. A lot of the boys in A Grade have been playing Reserve Grade for most of the year, but they keep turning up.
"I have been really surprised myself the last couple of weeks. The boys just don't give in.
"Young Josh Walters came up from Reserve Grade last week and was outstanding. He made a couple of line breaks and played a bit if dummy half for us.''
Tyrone Pascoa has played the last two games against Norths and Brothers and fired.
"Tyrone makes strong runs and comes in and helps the forwards out, and his energy is so high,” O'Connell said.
"He just doesn't miss tackles and stops everything that comes at him.
"Even against Fassifern early on in the season against some of their better players he was really on the mark.''
Jets colt Aiden Boyce returns this weekend from injury and can play anywhere in the pack.
"He's a good runner of the footy and aims up in defence. He is exactly what we have been taking about, a guy who always aims up and has a go.''
The X factor in the side is provided by the club's leading point scorer in 2017 Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku and star centre Harold Mosby.
It is easy to write about those two guys each week and their flair is on reason why Swifts are never beaten.
"I always believe we can score points when Ratu and Harold are in the team,” O'Connell said.
"You just know that the tries can come from anywhere on the field and that is what happened last week after a couple of early passes and a bit of space.
"Once we got one try I was always confident we could get two or three and that is what happened.
"This is Harold's first year at Swifts and he is stating to find his feet at the right end of the season.''
Swifts will be without inspirational captain Jaydn Callan who has a shoulder injury after battling on bravely against Brothers last week.
"We just want to compete against Goodna and stay in the game,” O'Connell said.
"We have key forwards out and we are a small pack.
"Goodna are a big side and they are hard to stop when they get a roll-on.
"We will certainly find out ton the night what we need to work on.”