6/11/2019

NEWSTEAD BREWING CO HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP- FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED IN ROUND 11

 

Here's 'five things we learned' from Round 11 of the Newstead Brewing Co Hospital Challenge Cup.

By Tom Primmer

1. GPS GET THEIR REVENGE


It was billed as one of the matchups of the season thus far and GPS v Easts didn’t disappoint, with Jeeps securing a 24-22 win in a thrilling contest at Yoku Road.

After Easts broke the Gallopers’ hearts in Round 2 with a one-point victory, Saturday’s fixture was about revenge for the home side and that was what they got, with a Maile Ngauamo try after the siren securing a eighth-straight win for the defending premiers.

In a battle of the competition’s two best set-pieces, the match hung in the balance with 15-minutes to play and the side’s locked at 19-all, before an Eli Pilz penalty-goal in the 70th minute penalty gave the Tigers what seemed to be a match winning lead.

However in front of a roaring Glue Factory crowd, the Gallopers refused to let Easts best them for a second time in 2019, with Ngauamo burrowing his way through the stubborn Tigers defence for his second try after the siren had sounded at Ashgrove.

It was an impressive performance from both sides at set-piece time, with three of the match’s seven tries coming as a direct result of a scrum or lineout.

The win sees the Bunter Bowl stay at Yoku Road, while the dramatic finish was also a perfect way for GPS to celebrate their annual Ladies Day.

Despite the loss, Easts will be buoyed by their strong performance, with a host of Premier Grade regulars out of action, against the competition heavyweights and will have a bye-week to reflect before hosting Bond University in Round 13.

Jeeps will travel south to take on the Bullsharks this weekend where they’ll be out to make it ten-straight wins.



2. SUNNYBANK SPRING AN UPSET


Sunnybank registered their second win of 2019 with an upset victory over Wests at Oldmac Oval in Round 11.

On the back of a Dillon Wihongi double, the Bankers secured a 25-20 win in front of their home fans to snap a six-game losing streak.

With the Bulldogs leading 20-10 early in the second-half, it looked as though the visitors may continue their dominant second-forty form, before the Dragons rallied with a pair of tries and a Hayden Sargeant penalty to secure a five-point win for the home side.

The win brings Sunnybank level with Norths in terms of wins, while their two bonus-points see the Bankers move above the Eagles and into eighth on the ladder.

They’ll host a Norths side fresh from a bye next round, and with the fixture to decide who will sit in ninth-place, both sides will be out for a win at Oldmac.

Wests will look to get back on track when they host Brothers in Round 12, with the side needing a consistent 80-minute performance to overcome the Brethren this weekend.


Dillon Wihongi scored a double for Sunnybank in Round 11. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

3. BRETHREN CLAIM INAUGRUAL BOLA-KEFU MEMORIAL SHIELD


Brothers consolidated their spot on top of the ladder with a 38-26 win over Souths at Crosby Park on the weekend.

With the sides locked at 26-all with ten-minutes to play, the Brethren turned on the attacking flair to score two tries in the final minutes of play, icing a 12-point win in front of their home crowd.

The victory sees Brothers claim the inaugural Bola-Kefu Memorial Shield, with the club’s paying tribute to two of their legends, Epi Bola and Fatai Kefu, in the now annual clash.

The Magpies ran out to a 19-7 lead in the opening-half through a brace to Emori Waqavulagi and traded tries with the ladder-leaders for much of the match, before Brothers proved too strong for Souths in the final stages.

Jake Strachan was particularly impressive for the visitors, while Caleb Timu was also strong in his return for the Magpies.

The Brothers backline was again on song in the win, with Seb Wileman, George Partridge, Byron Ralston and Rohan Saifoloi all crossing for tries in front of a huge crowd at Crosby Park for the club’s annual Pasifika night. 

The Brethren travel to Sylvan Road to take on Wests this weekend, while Souths will look to return to the winner’s circle as they host the University of Queensland.

St.George Queensland Reds players Samu Kerevi and Taniela Tupou with the Bola-Kefu Shield. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.


4. HEAVIES TAKE OUT INTER-VARSITY CLASH


The University of Queensland secured a 29-17 win over their Gold Coast counterparts, Bond University, at St Lucia in Round 11.

The Heavies held off a fast-finishing Bullsharks side to record their fourth-win of the season and move above the Gold Coasters into sixth-spot on the ladder.

After going down 22-nil after the first 60-minutes of play, the visitors strung together two tries from deep in their own half through Dan Boardman and Jordan Hughes to bring the deficit within ten, before a penalty try to UQ ensured the home side took the points.

The win could prove crucial in UQ’s season, with the side needing a near-perfect finish to 2019 to keep their spot in the final’s series.

The woes continue after the loss for Bond, who along with a near overflowing casualty-ward, now also need to win almost all of their remaining games to contend for finals this year.

Despite the loss, the starting debut of young halfback Spencer Jeans was a major positive for the visiting side, with the former Queensland and Australian Schoolboy seemingly undaunted by the task of the Hospital Challenge Cup.

The Bullsharks have their work cut out for them in Round 12 when they face the in-form GPS, while UQ will take on Souths at Chipsy Wood Oval.



5. FINALS PICTURE BEGINS TO FORM


With just seven rounds of competition remaining, the Newstead Brewing Hospital Challenge Cup finals race is beginning to heat up and we are starting to see how the ladder may look at the end of Round 18.

Brothers (41 points) and GPS (36 points) are sitting pretty on top of the ladder and have established quite the gap from their rivals, with Souths trailing in third on 26 points.

Behind the Magpies is Wests (25 points) and Easts (22 points), while UQ (18 points) and Bond (17 points) make up sixth and seventh spot.

Following their win over the weekend, Sunnybank (10 points) jumped ahead of Norths (9 points), who now sit in last overall.

With Brothers and GPS looking steady on top of the ladder, the final two top-four spots are up for grabs over the next two months, with five teams tussling for a finals berth in what should be a cracking finish to the 2019 season.