15 April 2011

Goodna Gladiators ready for winning run

LIKE brothers who have grown up, things are much more cordial between Ipswich Rangers and the Goodna Gladiators than they once were.

Ipswich Rangers host Goodna in the Barber Cup at Woodend tomorrow.

LIKE brothers who have grown up, things are much more cordial between Ipswich Rangers and the Goodna Gladiators than they once were.

However their Barber Cup clash at Woodend tomorrow afternoon is still sure to contain plenty of feeling.

Rangers have won both their opening two fixtures.

The Gladiators are without a win, but have lost by just one and two points, so will be desperate to get on the board.

"We're looking forward to the local derby," Goodna coach Mino Tiatia said.

"I'm pretty happy with the way we're going."

Goodna have been behind the pace after the floods destroyed all their equipment and forced them to find a temporary home at Riverview State School.

Tiatia admits their fitness is still not where it needs to be.

For that reason a strong start against Rangers is imperative.

"That's how we do it," Tiatia said.

"We need to come up with a really good start.

"We can't afford to take the foot of or relax against Rangers."

There is no secret where the Gladiators hope to establish dominance.

"While we probably lack a little fitness we need to stick to our game plan to beat them up front," the coach said.

To do that however, they will have to stop conceding points through penalties, which have cost them dearly in their opening two matches.

"Just the discipline as well," Tiatia said.

"We've been giving away silly penalties and we can't afford to do that against Rangers."

When the Gladiators have avoided conceding penalties they have kept their coach happy.

"The most pleasing thing is our defence and attack," he said.

"In two games we've conceded only one try so I'm pretty pleased with that."

Tiatia has played in many a local derby and while the competition remains fierce, the bad feeling that once existed between the clubs is a thing of the past.

"It's better than when I first played 10 years ago," he said.

"Now it is just a hard game.

"I know a lot of players from Rangers and we've become friends after games.

"But it is always more intense inside the field. You don't want to lose the game."

Rangers are equally motivated but remain wary of their neighbours from down the Ipswich motorway.

"You keep hearing they're so dispersed, with players all over the place but they are always going to be big and strong," Rangers fly half Stuart Banks said.

"They'll take us on straight in the forwards, that's their strength."

Banks is confident his team has the ability to counter the onslaught.

"We're very structured now and everyone knows where they need to be on the field," he said.

"We're very fit and have a lot of speed out wide so we'll look to give ourselves a bit of room.

"It is the only way to beat Goodna. You can't take them on one out.

"They'll eat you alive."

Meanwhile Springfield, coming of their first win of the season last start, host Wynnum at Springfield tomorrow afternoon.

In the Pegg Cup, Rangers and Rangers 2 clash at Woodend in the curtain raiser to the Barber Cup clash.

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