HARD RUN: Dalby prop Charlie Green with a characteristic run.
HARD RUN: Dalby prop Charlie Green with a characteristic run. Nev Madsen

Wheatmen depth has risen them to the top

RUGBY UNION: After the Dalby Wheatmen went down to USQ Saints back in round 7 of the Wagners Wellcamp Risdon Cup, thoughts of winning the minor premiership seemed faint.

Six rounds have past since then and the Wheatmen go into this weekend's fixture against Highfields looking to try and cement their position at the top of the table.

Dalby are ahead of title rivals Goondiwindi by four points, but have played an extra game.

The title race has been blown open in the over the past fortnight, as the previously undefeated Goondiwindi have lost their last two fixtures to the Wheatmen and Condamine Cods.

The Emus will be looking for a solid win to snap their two-game losing streak, so it will be imperative the Wheatmen take all five-points from their away game against Highfields.

Highfields have a had a very difficult year.

The Redbacks have not managed to secure a win or even a competition point all season and are anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

The last meeting between the two sides saw the Wheatmen run out convincing winners, but nothing should be taken for granted this weekend.

The Wheatmen will have to rely on their depth in the front-row this weekend with captain Sam Hogarth being forced off the field in last weekend's 29-19 victory over Toowoomba Rangers.

This is an issue Hogarth does not think will affect his side.

"Our club depth is really good and there's plenty of players ready to step up when we've got blokes missing," Hogarth said.

The depth at the Dalby club has been the highlight of the season so far.

Several players who started their season in B-grade have had regular appearances in the top division.

Where most teams would sometimes be hesitant to use their reserves in big games, Wheatmen coach Nathan Bradley happily puts faith in his players.

Six reserves were used two weeks ago against the Emus, which was a huge vote of confidence from the coach to his club.

It would be expected this level of faith in reserves continues for the final four games before the start of the finals.

The Wheatmen only have to play one game against an opponent who is currently sitting in the top-four - USQ Saints in Round 16 at home.

Dalby have a very real possibility of taking the full 20 competition points on offer and applying serious pressure on the Emus for the minor premiership.



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