Super Rugby


7/8/2016

BLK Queensland Premier Rugby Preview - Round 17


The 2016 BLK Queensland Premier Rugby finals series are beginning to take shape, with three clubs securing their spot in the top four, ahead of Round 17 of the competition this Saturday, 9 July. 

University of Queensland, having only dropped one game all season back in Round 1, have locked up the minor premiership and will head into the finals in poll position on 63 points. 

Brothers (52 points) and Souths (50 points) will finish in either second or third place, with remaining results from the final two rounds of competition determining who will face University in the major semi-final, and who will enter into the do-or-die minor semi-final. 

Sunnybank currently sit in fourth place on the ladder on 45 points, but with a match against University this weekend followed by a bye, there is a still a chance that GPS (36 points) could knock the Dragons out of finals contention. 

After falling to Easts in Round 16, 30-12, GPS have a hard task ahead of them should they wish to play on the hallowed Ballymore turf. They face Norths this weekend followed by a Round 18 bout with University, and they must aim to secure two bonus-point wins and hope that Sunnybank fall to University this Saturday with no consolation bonus-points in order to make the top-four. 

As improbable as this scenario may seem, last year’s final round of the regular season saw results fall in Souths’ favour and they slipped into the top four on points difference ahead of Sunnybank, before going on to claim their first title since 2000. 

The match of the round this week will be the clash between Sunnybank and University at Oldmac Oval. Fans can tune into the LIVE stream of the game via ‘Facebook LIVE’ on the St.George Queensland Reds Facebook page, or via www.redsrugby.com.au

Preview the Round 17 matches and gain valuable insights into the Premier Rugby competition in this week’s edition of the Premier Rugby Weekly digital program: http://bit.ly/29kKUPs 
 
You can also view the latest episode of the Premier Rugby Wrap here: http://bit.ly/29jOdu0 
 
View Premier Rugby fixtures and results here: http://bit.ly/1Wt41uE 
 
View the Premier Rugby ladder here: http://bit.ly/1Q8QGAe 
 
View Premier Rugby player statistics here: http://bit.ly/1VXJM7 

Sunnybank v University of Queensland – Game of the Round 
Location: Oldmac Oval 
Kick-off: 3:20PM
 
At this stage, Sunnybank are no certainty of featuring in the business end of the season. If they win on Saturday, they’ll cement their spot in the finals. But if they lose, they’ll leave their fate in the hands of other teams to deliver them the right results. The Dragons have only lost two games at home in 2016 but their opponent this weekend is not fazed by location. University of Queensland are on a 13-game winning streak and will head into this match with fresh legs, given the bye in Round 16. Sunnybank grinded out a come-from-behind victory over Norths last weekend and will have to lift this weekend against the Premier Rugby heavyweights. The last time these two played, University scored eight tries. Sunnybank must tighten up their defence if they are to be any chance. It’s one versus four in what is sure to be a classic game of the round tussle at Oldmac Oval.

Sunnybank: Daniel Anae, Thomas Mellor, Tereina McLean, Ben Petaia, Colin Cooper, George Blomfield, Chazz Mahina, Jeffrey Faamausili, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Jake Strachan, Ryan Menzies, Josh Bowen, Conrad Quick, Josh Edmond, Josh Coward 

Coach: Rob Seib

University of Queensland: Aaron Pleash, Tonga Ma’afu, Campbell Wakely, Patrick Morrey, Phil Potgieter, Maclean Jones, Jack de Guigand, Jack Cornelsen, Scott Gale, James Dalgleish, Jock Campbell, Nathan Russell, Josh Birch, Tom Pincus, Tom Banks 

Coach: Mick Heenan


Souths v Easts  
Location: Chipsy Wood Oval   
Kick-off: 3:20PM  
 
The 2015 Premiers have secured their place in the finals and are starting to play at their threatening best. They’ve scored 96 points in the last two weeks and now sit just two points behind Brothers in third. On paper this looks like a mismatch, but if the past month is anything to go by, you can forget Easts position on the ladder. The Tigers side that will take the field on Saturday is a determined, well-oiled machine looking to restore some pride back in their 2016 season. After a shaky start to the year, Easts were incredibly unlucky not to secure victories against Norths and University, going down by just one-point in each fixture. Since then they’ve turned it around and knocked off fourth-placed Sunnybank and sixth-placed GPS. With guaranteed finalists Souths and Brothers on the horizon, Easts are more than capable of securing two upsets to finish their season with four wins in-a-row. 

Souths: Markus Vanzati, Alex Casey, Eric Teofilo, Matt Bennett, Johnny Kalauta, Simana Halaifonua, Anton Minenko, Isireli Naisarani, Scott Malolua, Teti Tela, Mika Tela, Paul Brown, Ralph Evalu, Keeghan Sefton, Semeti Tela 

Coach: Brett Picone

Easts: Richard Asiata, Sam Richards, Kirwan Sanday, Tyrell Barker, Izack Rodda, Liam Wright, Max Allen, Michael Gunn, Billy Thompson, Matt Brandon, Tony Bartley, Matt Gordon, Toby White, Owain Davies, Andrew Krelle

Coach: Anthony Connellan 

GPS v Norths 
Location: Yoku Road
Kick-off: 3:20PM

While not impossible, the Gallopers are now faced with an almighty task if they want to feature in the 2016 finals starting later this month. Sitting in sixth, GPS were the latest victims of Easts’ return to form, which means the Gallopers must now win both of their remaining two matches to be any chance of making the finals. Even if they are victorious, they’ll still be relying on University knocking off Sunnybank at Oldmac this Saturday. Jeeps opponent this weekend, Norths, were unlucky not to come away with an upset victory in Round 16. Having lead for 70 minutes of the match, Norths couldn’t hold on and eventually went down 14-11 to the fourth-placed Dragons. With former GPS assistant coach Nick Fogarty now in the Eagles coach’s box, Norths could spoil GPS’ chances with a win at Yoku Road. 

GPS: Trent Anderson, Ryan Freney, Fred Burke, Radike Samo, Dan Gorman, Lagi Setu, Waita Setu, Michael Richards, Nigel Genia, Somi Pulu, Todd Winkley, James Herbert, Stevie Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, Dan Earley 

Coach: Todd Dammers

Norths: Garrath Ryan, Daniel Sutherland, Kieran Fitzgibbon, Connor Anderson, Faausu Afiafi, Jayden Rodwell, Enzo Mutoti, Apisai Naiyabo, Nick Chapman, Michael Burke, Tom Da Forno, Manasa Tuasuva, Connor Chittenden, Kallum Mackay, Veresa Mataitini

Coach: Nick Fogarty


Wests v Brothers 
Location: Kenmore RUFC
Kick-off: 3:35PM 

A month ago the Brethren were in a bit of a rut after suffering three consecutive losses. Tight losses, but losses nonetheless. Brothers have now won two-in-a-row, with victories over Souths and Bond and they travel to Kenmore this weekend to play a Wests side that has shown great promise in recent weeks. The Bulldogs knocked off GPS with one of their best performances of the year before a resilient display against Souths saw them fall short at Chipsy Wood. Brothers won the corresponding fixture in round eight by 22 points but if the Brethren want to retain second spot on the ladder they’ll have to be on song at Kenmore. Give this Bulldogs side even the slightest sniff and they’ll pounce, just ask GPS. 
Wests: Jonathan Danaher, Cody Blackhurst, Sione Na’a Helu, Rob Rutledge, Silas Cocks, Dean Cunningham, Joel Brown, Loveni Enari, Liam Dillon, Richie Aitsi, George Morseu, Dan Faumuina, Tyrone Lefau, Reece Cleeton, Byron Hutchinson 

Coach: Pat Byron 

Brothers: Stuart McReight, Tom Sayer, Francois Postal, Dave Finlay-Heneway, Ted Postal, Criff Tupou, Charles Freney, Luke Beauchamp, Angus Fowler, Stefano Hunt, Mitch Felsman, Nathanuel Gendle, Elih Baillie, George Partridge, Patrick James

Coach: Carl Marshall