Black Pigs risk losing top-five spot
UQ/HIGHFIELDS will be out to steady its Risdon Cup mid-season ship in a tough match-up today with Toowoomba Bears at Heritage Oval.
The Black Pigs made a positive re-entry into the Downs Rugby competition to sit firmly in the top five after five rounds.
But back-to-back losses to Roma and USQ now have UQ/Highfields in danger of being overtaken for fifth spot and a win against the defending premiers today will provide it with welcome breathing space.
Black Pigs coach Sam Skeat said his side would tackle Bears with a depleted line-up but was focussed on the importance of the clash.
Skeat said his players had taken some confidence from last week’s 31-17 loss to undefeated USQ.
“I was very happy with our performance last week after Roma had given us a bit of a touch-up,” Skeat said.
“But, being a team without a lot of size, I think we are suited playing a team like Uni which is also on the small side and plays similar to us.
“We’ll have to do it a bit tougher this week with about six of our regular players out.
“But that happens to all teams and we’ll just have to battle through.”
Missing players for the Black Pigs today include in-form breakaway Matthew Adams and Paul Maguire who lines up for the South Queensland under-19 side in this afternoon’s Country Championships match against Central Queensland.
“We sort of targeted this as a key match for us but that was before we lost players,” Skeat said.
“Bears are a bigger side than Uni and we’ll have to make a few changes to our play that we hope can work for us.”
USQ also has a growing injury list going into today’s match against St George.
St George is winless so far this season but the Saints will be keen to ensure complacency doesn’t lead to any lapses on their road trip.
Condamine faces a pivotal match when it hosts Roma this afternoon.
A loss by UQ/Highfields and a win against Roma will move the Cods to fifth on the ladder.
In other matches, Rangers host Warwick and Goondiwindi travels to Dalby.
DOWNS players will vie for Queensland Country spots when they line-up for South Queensland against Central Queensland in today’s Graincorp Country Championships match at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
Under 19s start at 3.30 and seniors at 5pm. Entry is free.