Goodna under-18 coach Terry Needham believes Norths (pictured beating Swifts 48-4 in round one) are the team to beat in 2012.
Goodna under-18 coach Terry Needham believes Norths (pictured beating Swifts 48-4 in round one) are the team to beat in 2012. Rob Williams

Under-18s jostle for title

IT IS not like they needed the rest but the Ipswich Rugby League under-18s competition resumes for round three this weekend, following last weekend's competition bye.

Brothers and Norths are the two unbeaten sides with Goodna just behind them following a win over West End and a draw last start against Redbank Plains.

The Eagles were left to rue poor goal-kicking as they outscored the Bears seven tries to five.

The club faced a similar problem last season, which almost cost them a semi-final berth.

"We definitely should have been two from two," Goodna coach Terry Needham said.

"But we didn't defend that well either."

But Needham is not too concerned, knowing his team will improve rapidly as players get used to combinations.

It has been difficult so far with Ipswich junior representative players rejoining the squad after round one.

There is little doubt Goodna has the raw talent to threaten the competition if they get all hands on deck.

"We're probably playing at about 50 percent of where we want to be," Needham said.

"We need to improve in and around our defensive structure, with a bit more line speed and aggression."

Neither will be a problem if the Eagles can get the Tasi brothers, Tasi and Sonny, on the field together.

The front rowers are younger brothers to Sydney Roosters star Lama.

Tasi Tasi, who is dual signed with the Ipswich Jets but is likely to return from injury with the Eagles this weekend, has also been through the Roosters' training programs.

"Definitely having Tasi (Tasi) is a huge plus," Needham said.

"It's great having someone who's got that Roosters development stuff under his wing."

Needham is also excited by the quality in his backline where he is spoilt for choice in the centres with Samuel Faulua, Sam Seau and Ellery Tusa.

Seau, also dual signed with the Jets, has been playing wing to accommodate the other two.

All three possess great footwork and are outstanding in the air, according to their coach.

Needham knows very little about Swifts, Sunday's opponent at the North Ipswich Reserve.

The Bluebirds have recorded a win over Lowood and loss to Norths.

"I haven't seen Swifts play," Needham said.

"We'll work on building our team and have a look at the other sides in the second round."

If there is one team Needham does know a little bit about it is Norths, who he rates the ones to beat.

"I think Norths are the standard setters," Needham said.

"They've got about 10 players coming back from Mal Meninga Cup.

"They're the ones we need to compete with while Brothers will be Brothers - always competitive."

 

LADDER

Norths - 4

Brothers 1 - 4

Goodna - 3

Springfield - 2

Swifts - 2

Redbank Plains - 1

West End - 0

Lowood - 0

Brothers 2 - 0



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