Swifts have one last hurdle to winning another A-Grade title - getting past big match performers Brothers.
Swifts have one last hurdle to winning another A-Grade title - getting past big match performers Brothers. Cordell Richardson

Check out the form guide for Ipswich grand finals

BOMBER'S BLAST

THE Rugby League Ipswich grand finals are on this week-end and what exciting games are on offer at the North Ipswich Reserve.

A-Grade: Brothers v Swifts (Sunday 3pm)

Brothers were the first team into the decider with victory over Goodna.

Swifts have done it the hard way by defeating both Redbank and the more favoured Goodna over the past two weeks.

Brothers are a big match team and normally rise to the occasion. Coach Jason Connors will have them primed after having the weekend off to recuperate and rest some niggling injuries.

Swifts coach Damian O'Donahue was full of praise for his team after a comeback victory last weekend. He will need them to be switched on from the start if they are to be any chance of winning this game.

The winner of this one must get on top in the forwards first before sending it out wide to their backs where both teams have an abundance amount of pace.

These two sides have met three times this year with the Bluebirds winning two of them, with the last time being a 44-16 thrashing at Brothers home ground.

Brothers players to watch will be Wes Conlon (18 tries) at the back who has had a superb season; halfback Chris Ash, who was awesome in the first semi-final; and Josh Afoa, who will be doing the tough stuff in the middle.

Swifts players to watch will be fullback Ratu Vatuinaruku, who will be a big danger if Brothers allow him to run, hooker Derek Hemopo, who is an unsung hero in the Bluebirds forward pack, and the ever reliable Jake O'Doherty, who will be leading from the front taking the tough carries.

Tip: Brothers.

Reserve Grade: Goodna v Fassifern (Sunday 1.15pm)

Goodna were minor premiers in this grade and accounted for their closest rivals Brothers in the first semi-final.

Fassifern have reached the grand final by defeating Swifts and then Brothers last week-end.

The Eagles have a good blend of big strong forward and some slick backs and when they click into gear they are a hard team to stop.

Fassifern have enjoyed a great season and probably have overachieved so far but after defeating the more talented Brothers outfit last week they can now dare to dream of tasting grand final glory.

They have a team that turns up each week and works hard for each other. This commitment has got them to the big day.

The players to watch for the Eagles are halfback LJ Waddups, who has a lot of final experience, and the speedy Henry Pritchard.

Fassifern will rely heavily on their experienced duo Callum McInnes and Michael Hayes.

These players will lead the way but they must have the rest of their side behind them.

Tip: Goodna.

Under 20: Brothers v Goodna (Sunday 11.30am)

Brothers go into this clash as red hot favourites after thrashing Goodna in the first semi.

The Eagles hit back last week with a thumping of Redbank but will need to vastly improve if they wish to get near Brothers.

Brothers were given a game plan by coach Darryll Squires when they last met. They went out and executed it to perfection with a dominant display.

Their forwards got on top early and the backline did not miss a beat as they ran roughshot winning 50-10.

Goodna were a lot better last week with an easy win of the Bears but must find play as a team and be patience if they are to cause an upset.

They have the team that can worry the minor premiers and have defeated them on four out of the seven times they met this year. They lacked some discipline during the final series and must keep their emotions in check and players on the field if they wish to be holding the premiership trophy aloft.

The Brothers player to watch is Dion Tavita-Matavale as he is a strong ball runner and can score a try. He is the leading try scorer in this grade with 21.

Goodna have a few different players to watch but will rely heavily on Moahengi Alovili and Peter Maseesee to spark their attack.

Tip: Brothers.

Saturday's RLI junior grand finals are:

1.15pm: Under 13 - Goodna v Brothers

2.30pm: Under 14 - Goodna v Norths

4pm: Under 15 - Brothers v Redbank

5.30pm: Under 16 - Norths v Redbank

7pm: Under 18 - Norths v Brothers.

Don't forget to grab Saturday's QT for a comprehensive grand final program.

And for the first time, this weekend's matches are going to be livestreamed. Head to: www.qt.com.au, or see today's QT back page story for details.

Quick thoughts

SAINTS: 1. The Aussie cricket team for retaining the Ashes. A lot of cricket followers were sceptical of their victory prospects before leaving but the Aussies rose to the challenge with Steve Smith the hero.

2. How good are our Australian basketballers going in the World Cup? They are undefeated and looking very good for a position on the podium. Lets hope its at the top.

Sinners: 1. Canberra forward Hudson Young was suspended earlier in the year for eye gouging but didn't learn anything. He will now spend eight weeks out of the game. Keep your hands out of people's faces. It's not hard.

2. The NRL match review committee for the inconsistent charges handed out last week. There was a huge difference between Kane Evans and Marty Taupau's tackles but both received one week out.

Did you know? 1. Wally Lewis played his last game of rugby league in England. It was for Wakefield Trinity.

2. Front rowers don't often score a lot of tries but the great Artie Beetson crossed the line 17 times for Eastern Suburbs in his 131 games.

Bomber's best: I tipped the Sharks (NRL) and Bulldogs (AFL) last week with only the Sharks doing the right thing and winning.

It's semi-final time in the NRL and all four favourites should salute, so get on the Roosters, Storm, Sharks and the mighty Eels.



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