Brothers Heidi Barnett will be tested by Bluebirds' shooter Poppy Larson tonight.
Brothers Heidi Barnett will be tested by Bluebirds' shooter Poppy Larson tonight.

Brothers gunning for final

DON'T expect Brothers to take the foot off the pedal, warns coach Tanya Shuker, even though the minor premiership looks safe.

“I don't think we can lose it now but we are after the big one (grand final),” she said.

The coach admits a few of her players have niggling injuries and that could see some rested but she is in no doubt that tonight's Rockhampton Leagues Club A-grade game against Bluebirds Hawks is one she would like to win.

“We don't want to let them beat us now, we have beaten them all season,” she said.

One player who may have to sit out tonight's match is mid-court player Zoe Seibold who has recently returned to action after an injury.

“I'll have Jessie McMaster there in case,” Shuker said.

Unfortunately, Bianca Butler, who joined Brothers when Frenchville Mustangs collapsed, will play the season out in A-Reserve.

However, Shuker does see Butler as a player with a big future and will get her chance when the club puts together its squad for the 2012 season.

Already Shuker is looking towards next season.

“We will be looking at an early sign-on,” she said. “We are looking at the possibility of having two A-grade teams next year.”

The game sees Brothers Crimson go in as the number one side while Bluebirds, the 2010 champion, sits at three while there's also a contest between Brothers' Amee Brown and Bluebirds' Mikaela King.

The pair is likely to go head-to-head at some stage of the game but will then suit up as team mates in Mackay at the weekend with the Cyclones in the QWBL quarter-finals.

Bluebirds coach Barb Ahmat also wants to win this game but her need could be more pressing as four teams are still pushing hard for the other three positions in the finals.

“We are still looking to reduce our error count, the game last week still left room for improvement,” she said.

However, that convincing win was over Magic but Bluebirds need to produce a display like the one that toppled Colts three weeks ago.

The last thing Bluebirds want is to spend the final couple of rounds looking at the results of other teams fighting for a finals place.

Returning for Bluebirds is wing defence Shanita Smith after being sidelined last week with an ankle injury and that could give Ahmat a selection problem as Kelsey Hitchman is relishing her promotion to A-grade.

Take away the threat of Amee Brown and Ahmat feels her team is at least as strong as Brothers.

“To be honest, the last time we played them we matched them up in centre court,” she said.

Also she feels Brown can be contained.

“Dani (Wingard) is getting good at playing against the taller shooters,” Ahmat said.

Colts and Brumbies also set to battle

WITH the ladder so tight, neither Colts or Frenchville Brumbies can afford to slip up.

The two sides meet tonight with Brumbies smarting from the loss to Marlins and Colts having to change their playing pattern due to the loss of the influential Mel Clarke for the rest of the season.

A loss for Colts could see them move down the ladder and become involved in the scrap for a finals berth while Brumbies has the players to go all the way to the grand final, so long as they get things right during the final weeks of the season.

Marlins should get the win over RGS Magic in the other game of the round.



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