Storky's Footy Talk - Round 11
GRAHAM "STORKY" CAMPBELL
It's getting to the "crunch time" of the season and no doubt the week off would have suited most teams. Now back into the final weeks of the regular season before the finals series.
This weekend we have Springsure travelling to Clermont tonight in the wet. Springsure need the win to keep their winning run and they are trying to move up the table for the finals. Clermont are strong at home and should have most of their players available. Springsure's lineup will depend on travel. I have to ask a few questions.
Will Jared Owens have a good game?
How will Springsure go with Charlie Mayne suspended?
They have some exciting players in Ben Kerswell, Luke Cronk and second rower Terry Delalande which can hopefully lift tonight for the Mountain Men.
Clermont do have Jesse Johnson and he can score a try if needed but with his injury at the 47th Battalion, his return date is unknown. Ethan Kennedy has played well this year in the halves as has Mitch Wienert in the centres and I am expecting a big game from both those boys tonight.
I'm tipping Springsure to win however, particularly in the rain.
Tigers play Cowboys in the early game at McIndoe Park on Saturday night as the Ladies are playing for the Polly Pratt Shield at 7pm. Inter-town games are always a contest as the rivalry is there. Cowboys have won their last two games and are looking good and Tigers are also on a winning streak after beating Bluff.
This should be a good game at McIndoe Park.
Mick Battye for the Cowboys is leading the boys around and Keiren Pratt at hooker is getting back to his best. Sam Clayton could be the surprise packet for the Cowboys.
The Tigers have a good front rower in Dywayne Rigby and their halves in Gavin Power and Reece Kennaugh half directed the rest of the side around the park.
It'll be a close game. I'm not sure who to tip.
In the Ladies match after the A-Grade, the Tigers and Cowgirls will play for the Polly Pratt trophy and the Cowgirls are getting better with every game.
The Tiger Ladies have the points on the board and need to keep winning to try and take over Clermont on the ladder in the hope of hosting the first semi-final on Friday August 19th. Maria Rawiri knows how to play and be a good captain and she will have Nioaka Ross, Miesha Huet and Miranda Barltey in the forwards.
Cowgirls have Claire Prior hitting form at five-eight and Tayla Bean at halfback, very good when she runs the ball and can tackle. Keely Wiseman is only games away from being at her best.
This should be a good, close game. Just like the Men's game, I'm not sure who to tip.
Bluff play Middlemount at home on Saturday night. It's a battle between second and third and both teams want that edge for the finals. Bluff have a lot of good players on their books and they will need them for this weekend.
Mitch Wyatte will be back to play against his old club and his game would decide the winner if he has runners. Middlemount need their forwards to match the Bluff forwards.
Bluff at home on Saturday night will be hard having Peter McLaughlin at five-eight, hard running forwards in Billy Byrne and Justin Daniels and captain Chris Conway in the back row.
I'm tipping Bluff to win.
The last two games of the weekend are in Dysart between the Bulls and Blackwater in a double header.
The Dysart Ladies have been playing good football with Juanita McDonald leading the team and April Catling playing dummy half and always looking dangerous. Donna Kilpatrick is at the base of the scrum and new recruit, Melissa Micallef running the ball in the centres.
Crushettes have Mariah Storch doing a lot of work around the ruck area and Olivia Hamilton directing traffic but the find of the year in my opinion is Nadine Hattingh at lock. She can produce a winning performance for her team.
I'm tipping the Crushettes to win by 10.
Blackwater travel to Dysart and the Bulls just sit outside of the four and need this win to keep up with Springsure. Blackwater still have a game in the bank against Emerald Tigers to be played on July 30th, but need this week's win to still be in the race for the final four.
Ryan Palmer who is having a good year will lead the way. Halves Colby Napper and Shae Cox need to lead the team around and run the ball.
Dysart have won the majority of their games at home and they would be favourite to win. President Shaun Macklin playing at lock will be pushing the team to finish on a good note and make the finals. Captain/Coach Phil Derksen coming in at fullback can make plenty of ground in attack.
I'm tipping Dysart to win at home.
Congratulations to the Central Highlands Under 20’s players and coaching staff for their weekend in Yeppoon at the 47th Battalion carnival. It's great to see our up and coming players represent the Highlands.
Queensland won the the State of Origin series (again!), yahoo!!
Before I finish, last weekend Jack Hornery was at the Cowboys triple header and had his sons Brock and Chuck with him and the grand children.
Jack is a life member of the Central Highlands Rugby League and he played, coached and managed a lot of rep sides throughout the years. Good to see you and Chris in retirement Jack and enjoy your days!
The Cowboys are having a reunion day going back to Seagulls and Cowboys on the 6th August when they play Dysart. Should be a great day of getting together and enjoying your old mateships.
It's not just for players but for all supporters, jersey washers and whoever else did work for the club in some way. Come down for a beer! It should be a terrific day!
Enjoy your local footy this weekend despite the rain. Be sure to bring a raincoat and umbrella!