Hanging tough for next big test
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone Wallabys enter today's semi-final against Yeppoon injury-ravaged, but confident they can get the job done in Rockhampton.
2016 runner-up Wallabys showed grit and determination, along with a high fitness base, to outlast a plucky Gladstone Valleys outfit last week.
Yeppoon were destroyed by Norths Chargers 44-6 and will have its confidence rattled while Wallabys can draw from their experience in the finals last season.
Wallabys will be without the services of creative five-eighth Matt Baker for the remainder of the season with a chest injury while front rower Jacob Campbell will also miss the final.
Both teams have played each other just the once - a 28-20 win to Yeppoon - after round three was washed out because of rain.
The winner will progress to face the loser out of the Norths Chargers and Rockhampton Brothers match while either Chargers or Brothers will make the grand final in two weeks.
Wallabys' playing coach Ashley Dodd said confidence is high despite the setbacks with injury.
"We have played really well all year and have played ourselves into match fitness," Dodd said.
What is another strength is Wallabys' self-belief because the team has faced injury adversity more often than not and more often than not, the team has pulled through.
"We have the core group of players and a good mix of youth and experience and it works for us," Dodd noted.
The mentor said his form has been solid playing in the halves, but he said Yeppoon will be tough.
Yeppoon have a reputation of playing an attacking brand of league and have a big forward pack.
"Yeppoon are fit and structured and they too have a lot of youth and some old boys," Dodd said.
STORY SO FAR
R12: Yeppoon 28 d Wallabys 20
1st Semi-final: Yeppoon v Wallabys 1.30pm at Browne Park
2nd Semi-final: Norths Chargers v Rocky Brothers 4.30pm
Winner of Yeppoon v Wallabys v loser of Chargers and Brothers