Koina trio selected for mid-season final
AFTER scoring 16 tries from 18 games for Wattles in the 2013 Toowoomba Rugby League season, bustling back-rower Mitch Koina has mostly languished in the Warriors' recovery room in 2014, making just one appearance in the green and gold colours.
While there is still a fraction of doubt about his fitness, he has been named in Wattles top-grade side to contest its first Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy final since 2005 tomorrow at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
Coach Luke Duggan has a real appreciation for the match winner he has in Koina but will exercise caution.
"I don't see any point in risking players," Duggan said. "You don't win grand finals in June."
Halfback Matt Duggan is in doubt of taking the field while experienced first-grade campaigners Liam Ross, Dan Manley, Jamie Dodt and Tim Hentschel will miss Sunday's big game through injury.
Duggan is a vital cog in the Wattles machine but, should he be ruled out, his talented brother Ryan will wear the number seven jumper.
Koina was a key component in Wattles' engine room last year but after teaming up with brothers Brod and Joel last year, Mitch endured a shoulder reconstruction post season.
For the first time this season the Koina trifecta of Mitch, Brod and Joel will be on the playing field at the same time, a necessity for Wattles' chances of victory.
Joel is a brilliant centre and Wattles top try-scorer to date while Brod is among the form forwards in the Warriors' pack.
Despite the injury hype, Wattles have been able to boast depth throughout the 2014 season.
They will call on that depth against the Gatton Hawks - depth that has seen them win eight of their first nine games this year - in the hopes of adding the club's name to the Madsen-Rasmussen Trophy a fifth time, after victories in 1984, 1997, 1998 and 2005.
Madsen Rasmussen Trophy final: Wattles Warriors v Gatton Hawks, 2.30pm tomorrow at Clive Berghofer Stadium.