Vital round for Ipswich units to stay in finals race
IT IS shaping as a crucial round for the two Ipswich teams in the Brisbane Women's Rugby League.
Both are holding on to finals spots by their fingernails.
With three rounds left, Norths are fourth in the top division, a win clear of fifth-placed Carina.
But last weekend's 20-10 loss to last-placed Aspley may come back to haunt them as their final three games are against top three sides Souths Logan, Burleigh and Beerwah.
Swifts, in Division Two, are sixth, equal on points with fourth-placed Pine Rivers and fifth-placed Wests Inala.
The Bluebirds went down 26-24 in a thriller against Pine Rivers last weekend.
It was a setback, but they can be encouraged by the draw which sees them play bottom two teams Capalaba and Wynnum Manly in their final three matches.
First, however, is Burpengary this weekend, at Burpengary.
Last time the two teams met, Burpengary won 50-0.
There were mitigating circumstances with Swifts fielding just nine players.
But it could be a similar scenario this weekend, with half the squad unavailable.
"We don't have a forward pack," Swifts centre Renee Hayden said. "Everyone is sick and injured.
"We've had a few pregnancies and lost a few girls, but that's normal.
"Some are mothers with kids who have grand finals on Saturday and can't drive for two hours to Burpengary."
However, Hayden expects Swifts to be at full strength for their final two matches.
They will be an entirely different prospect then and Hayden hopes that will be enough to get them into finals. If they do, she believes Swifts can win the competition.
"We're pretty confident when we've got a full squad we could be the best in the comp," she said.
"We've got the power, the girls and the size."
They've also got a new coach in David Hayden, the brother of Renee and her sister - Swifts co-captain Kellie Hayden.
David also coaches the Swifts under-14s, who are undefeated this season, so Renee hopes some of that magic rubs off.