New order: Goodna and Ipswich, pictured in their
round one clash a fortnight ago, have their work cut
out staying ahead of new Barber Cup rivals Springfield
Lakes this season.
AFTER two rounds of the Barber Cup, new team Springfield Lakes leads the Ipswich charge.
However, the best is yet to come, according to coach Heta Pamatatau.
Pamatatau is delighted with his team's progress, having beaten Ipswich Rangers and pushed premiers Pine Rivers to a two-point loss, but admits they were lucky to get the points against their Ipswich rivals.
"It could have gone either way," he said. "Ipswich are a really strong side this year. I actually thought they were the better team on the day."
When Pamatatau coached Goodna to the Barber Cup title in 2008, the Gladiators were known for grinding out narrow wins on the back of their physical forward pack.
Pamatatau has proved he is no one trick pony, however, with Springfield Lakes' backs turning on the razzle-dazzle.
A number of the players he coached to a sub-districts colts premiership with Goodna in 2007, who subsequently went to rugby league, have returned and their quality was on show against Rangers.
"I expected some of the guys I pulled over (from Goodna) to lift the younger guys," he said.
"But the young boys have stood up.
"I think our backline picked us up and pulled us over the line for the win (against Rangers)."
Pamatatau's challenge then is getting his forward pack up to his old Goodna standards.
There is no cause for concern, however, with the coach confident improvement will come naturally.
"I think we just need to get some game time together. If we do, I reckon we can work something for the second round," he said.
"The more games we play, the better chance we have of making the top four."
Pamatatau is also coaching the club's second grade side in the Scotney Cup while they search for a coach.
They have won their opening two games comfortably, giving Pamatatau the luxury of depth to choose from while keeping the first graders on their toes.
Pamatatau admits his top starting side is not yet settled and is likely to use until round five to experiment with different players in different positions.
Goodna's top side take on the winless Brisbane Irish at Norths tomorrow but Pamatatau is too experienced to take them lightly.
"Irish are a really strong, passionate team," he said. "I reckon we've got a chance out in the backline.
"Irish like to play it up front so we've got to keep it away from their forwards."
In the Scotney Cup, Springfield Lakes take on Sunnybank.
Both Rangers' Barber and Pegg Cup teams travel to take on Pine Rivers while Goodna's two outfits travel to play Wynnum.
Ipswich Colts host GPS at Woodend tomorrow at noon.