Tigers' hopes go west for replay
THREE days since they couldn't be separated after 110 minutes of rugby league, the question is who has the advantage tonight.
Norths and Goodna back up to replay their elimination semi-final at the North Ipswich reserve tonight at 7.30pm.
On one hand, Goodna's bigger players could take longer to recover for tonight's game.
On the other, if Norths are mentally down, they might struggle to match Goodna's forwards.
Norths are fortunate to have just one injury concern with Jay Brookfield in doubt with an ankle injury.
Tigers halfback Steven West admits it is a bonus the team hasn't had to worry about who's fit and who's not.
However, it is not the physical recovery West believes will decide this encounter.
"We don't think it will come down to how the body recovers," West said.
"It's more a mental thing.
"If you're mentally tough, you're able to get through it."
Which is why West will take comfort as he looks around the change room before his team goes out to play.
"I've known the majority of the guys for a number of years," West said. "Blokes like John Luhrman and Brad Oddi.
"At the start of the season, Brad probably wasn't the fittest but I knew I'd get the same out of him as if he was.
"I lived with him for a couple of years and know exactly what you'll get out of him."
The first thing any team hoping to beat Goodna has to do is contain their forwards.
Helping Norths do that last weekend were the outside backs.
By taking early hit-ups, they relieved the Norths forwards, leaving them more energy to take on Goodna's pack.
West hopes to see more of the same in the hope Goodna will tire sooner.
But he is not assuming they will be any weaker than Sunday.
For whichever team progresses, the worry is how they back up against Swifts on Sunday.
It will be the third semi-final in a week.
Sunday's 110-minute epic will have tested the players like never before and tonight's clash will do the same.
The concern is there will be nothing left by this weekend.
"I wouldn't say it's mission impossible," West said.
"It's tough playing three games in a week. I can't see tonight's game being as physical.
"We need to make sure we start well. If we can, we know towards the end we can come over the top of them."
Therein lies a big part of West's responsibility as a senior player and leader.
If he can get his team playing the percentages by completing sets, they have more chance of successfully pushing the Eagles to exhaustion.
- Age: 32
- Occupation: Installer for Install it Services. We install all Stratco stuff, from sheds to pergolas and patios.
- Any thoughts on retirement? At this stage, I'm playing next year. Especially if for some reason we don't go all the way.