Toowoomba Bears' player James Nixon (left) and Matt Bougoure of Toowoomba Rangers compete for lineout possession during their Risdon Cup first-round match at Heritage Oval.
Toowoomba Bears' player James Nixon (left) and Matt Bougoure of Toowoomba Rangers compete for lineout possession during their Risdon Cup first-round match at Heritage Oval. Kevin Farmer

Bears eager to crank up late run to finals

AFTER fighting through an injury-hit start to the Wagners Risdon Cup season, Toowoomba Bears are eager to make up for lost time and maintain winning form at Gold Park today.

Bears sat in second last place on the competition ladder for much of the first round but with three wins now on the board they have loomed as possible finals' contenders in a topsy-turvy premiership season.

The round-two formula is a simple one for Bears - keep winning, and today they are chasing their next scalp when they clash with Toowoomba Rangers in a round-12 meeting.

Bears co-coach Mick Jarroush said belief was growing among his squad as they take aim at a play-offs' berth.

"At the start of the year we thought we could be competitive," Jarroush said.

"We struck a lot of injuries early on, but we've been rebuilding since.

"We've been able to strengthen up in some key positions and confidence has started to build from there.

"We've been training and working hard all season, but a few of the boys are now starting to figure it out.

"I think we began turning the corner when we beat Uni in round nine and the signs are definitely there that we can build from here."

Bears are coming off a 38-0 win over Highfields while Rangers won a see-sawing match against Uni 28-27 last weekend.

"If we played like we did last week we'll struggle against Rangers," Jarroush said.

"We tried to play a bit too much dry weather football last week in the wet.

"But if we stick to our plan and do what we do best I believe we're capable of beating Rangers.

"We really want to push now for a spot in the finals."

IN OTHER matches today, USQ is at home to Gatton, Condamine hosts undefeated Goondiwindi and Dalby travels to Roma.

RISDON CUP

 

After 11 rounds

 

Goondiwindi 48, Toowoomba Rangers 34, Roma* 32, Condamine 23, USQ 22, Gatton 19, Toowoomba Bears 18, Dalby 17, Highfields -2

* Denotes 2nd round bye



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