The Bears' defence looks to wrap up USQ forward Andre van Staden during their round 13 Risdon Cup match last Saturday at USQ Oval.
The Bears' defence looks to wrap up USQ forward Andre van Staden during their round 13 Risdon Cup match last Saturday at USQ Oval. Nev Madsen

Bears out to keep season afloat

GOONDIWINDI and Dalby meet today at Riddles Oval in one of the Wagners Risdon Cup's most crucial season fixture matches.

But the minor-premiership combatants are not the only teams locked in an arm wrestle this afternoon with Toowoomba Bears and Condamine engaged in their own knife-edge encounter.

Bears host the Cods at Heritage Oval today in a round-14 game where a loss could effectively end their season while a win to Condamine can strengthen its grip on a top-five finish.

Both teams are coming off last-round losses with Bears going down 29-22 last Saturday to USQ while the Cods were beaten 34-20 at home by Toowoomba Rangers.

Bears' costly loss the Saints has them positioned five ladder points behind Condamine in sixth place.

Defeat today will leave them 10 points outside the top-five with the Cods two wins out of their reach.

The Bears latest form is not encouraging on paper.

Successive losses to UQ Gatton, Dalby and USQ doesn't make for good reading but Bears' coach Bryan Battersby has not lost faith in his young team's ability and remains hopeful of a top-five revival starting at home today.

"We have faced big games for the last three weeks and unfortunately we haven't been up to it,” Battersby said.

"On saying that, last week is probably the best we've played in three weeks but we were beaten by a better side on the day.

"We have got to beat Condamine now and keep winning with other results needing to go our way as well if we are to finish in the top five.

"Team-wise we are finally getting to where we would like to have been at the start of the season.

"If we play to our ability tomorrow we should win and I believe we can win well.

"But it comes down now to how we turn up and execute on the day.”

Dalby will be looking to avenge its 29-14 loss to the Emus when they meet in their top-of-the-table clash today.

In other matches this afternoon UQ Gatton and USQ Saints meet at Warwick's Risdon Oval in a crucial game for USQ while Highfields will chase their first season win when it hosts Roma.



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