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By Tom Primmer
The fourth and final Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens tournament took place at Easts over the weekend, with Queensland's best aspiring Sevens talent converging on Tigerland. See how results shaped the final ladder and saw Sunnybank claim the inaugural title.
1. Bond University (22 points)
Bond finished the Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens series on a high, recording their second tournament victory.
The Bullsharks once again thrived in wet conditions, losing just one game on their way to the Cup at Easts.
The side lost only to the Northern Territory in the pool stages, defeating Sunnybank and the ADF to finish in 3rd on the ladder before the finals.
They met and defeated Iconz in the Cup semi-final, before narrowly overcoming UQ 22-19 in the decider to win their second tournament.
Corbin Kiernan and Hayden Sargeant were named in the tournament four dream, with Kiernan judged the player of leg four.
Sargeant and Kiernan were also selected in the competition dream team, a nod to their consistency across the series as Bond finished in second place overall.
2. University of Queensland (19 points)
UQ finished the series with their best result yet as runners-up at Tigerland.
The Students progressed through the pool stages undefeated, with wins over GPS, Brothers and Easts seeing them on top of table after the group rounds.
The Heavies continued their form with a five-point win against Wests to move into the decider, where they were defeated by Bond by just three points.
Connor Clancy and Tom Harvey were both selected in the tournament four dream team for the side, while Clancy also earnt competition dream team honours.
After a slow start to the competition, top three finishes in legs three and four saw the side finish in 5th place overall and they will be sure to move even further up the ladder in 2019.
3. Iconz (15 points)
The specialty Sevens side had their best tournament of the series at Easts, the side winning four of their five matches.
Iconz went through the pool stages unbeaten, defeating Souths, Wests and Norths.
Their first defeat came in the Cup semi-finals where they went down to Bond, before the team recovered to seal third place with a win over Wests.
The human highlight reel Manuel Cole-Manolis was once again on show for the side, the head coach continuing to turn back the clock with a barnstorming run to score against Bond.
After four tournaments playing against the best Sevens talent Queensland has to offer, the side is sure to be an even stronger outfit at the various other tournaments across Australia that they play.
4. Wests (13 points)
The Bulldogs broke through for their second top four finish of the series at Easts, finishing tournament four in fourth spot.
Wests qualified for the Cup finals with wins over Norths and Souths, their only defeat of the pool stages coming against Iconz.
The side finished the day with two defeats in the Cup finals, going down to UQ and the Iconz respectively.
Liam Dillon was once again outstanding for the side, while Harry Higgins once again performed strongly.
The Bulldogs finish the series as one of the most consistent sides in Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens, with the team the only side to finish within the top five in all five tournaments.
5. Northern Territory (12 points)
The Northern Territory have been arguably the most improved side of the Queensland Premier Sevens series, the side bettering their final position in every tournament.
After tenth, eighth and sixth-place finishes in the first three tournaments, the Mosquitoes finished in 5th at Tigerland, winning the Plate for the first time.
The side missed the top four by points difference after the pool stages, their only loss coming against Sunnybank after defeating Bond and the ADF.
They continued their strong form in the Plate finals, defeating Souths and Easts to win their first piece of silverware of the tournament.
Will Maddocks was outstanding for the side, the brother of Wallaby Jack earning tournament four and series dream team honours for his efforts after starting the series with the Australian Barbarians.
The side finished in ninth-place overall, a great result for Northern Territory Rugby.
6. Easts (10 points)
Easts couldn’t manage a spot in the top four in front of their home crowd, finishing in sixth in the final tournament of Queensland Premier Sevens.
The Tigers missed the top four by only points-difference after defeating Brothers and GPS and losing to UQ in the pool stages.
The home side went on to defeat Sunnybank 26-12 in the Plate semi-finals, before falling to the Northern Territory in the final.
Keeghan Sefton was in top form for the side, while Shane Kennedy and Charlie Olsen were also strong performers.
One of the competition’s more consistent sides, the Tigers finished in fourth position overall, with two top-four finishes.
7. Sunnybank (9 points)
It wasn’t their best performance, but Sunnybank did enough to secure the title in the inaugural Queensland Premier Sevens competition.
The Bankers missed the top four by points difference at Easts, a loss to Bond in the pool stages keeping them out of the top four for the first time in the competition.
The side defeated the Northern Territory and the Australian Defence Force in the pool stages, before losing 26-12 to Easts in the Plate semi-final.
With a severe storm barrelling down and the title already secured, the Dragons chose against playing their playoff for seventh against Souths, the sides splitting the points to finish tied.
Neal McNamara earnt his second dream team selection of the series, while he and Charlie Tupu were both named in the series dream team.
Despite their seventh-place finish, the Dragons topped the overall ladder with 68 points, the side the first recipient of the Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens trophy.
7. Souths (9 points)
Souths lost a host of stars in their squad in tournament four and it showed, with the side recording their lowest finishing position of the series in equal seventh.
The Magpies were defeated by Iconz and Wests in the pool stages, a 26-12 win over Norths their only victory of the group matches.
The side went on to lose their Plate semi-final to the Northern Territory, before ending their day prematurely after choosing against playing Sunnybank in the seventh-place playoff due to the weather.
Josh Coward was once again fantastic for Souths, his performance capped by his third selection in a tournament dream team, the most by any player in the competition.
Coward also received the James Stannard medal as player of the series and was named in the overall competition dream team, a remarkable performance by the Souths flyer.
The Magpies finished in third-place overall, a great result for the clubs first venture into Sevens Rugby.
9. Norths (7 points)
Tournament four marked Norths’ lowest overall finish in the Queensland Premier Sevens series, the Eagles finishing in ninth to win the Bowl at Tigerland.
The side went through the pool stages winless, with losses to Wests, Souths and Iconz seeing them finish in tenth before the Bowl finals.
The Eagles then hit top gear, defeating the ADF 41-19 in the semi-final before a resounding 29-0 win over the Brethren in the Bowl final delivered the side seven competition points.
Nick Chapman was once again a standout in all five games, while Jordan Luke was also at his electric best.
The side finished in seventh spot overall.
10. Brothers (5 points)
Brothers finished the final tournament of the Queensland Premier Sevens in tenth position, the side winning one of their five games at David Wilson field.
The Brethren finished the pool stages in last position, with losses to Wests, UQ and GPS sending them to the bottom of the table.
The side recovered to defeat GPS in the Bowl semi-final, before falling to Norths in the decider.
Youth was once against the overriding positive for the Brethren, with the Skelton brothers Conrad and Jeral, as well as Callum Hicks all standout performers for the side.
The side finished in eighth on the overall competition ladder.
11. GPS (3.5 points)
If anything, GPS have been consistent throughout the first Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens series.
The Gallopers finished in eleventh in all four tournaments, ending the tournament in eleventh place overall.
Despite their consistent low finishes, Jeeps have shown significant improvement from tournament one at St Lucia.
The side started their day with losses to UQ and Easts before defeating Brothers to finish ninth after the pool stages.
A defeat to Brothers in the Bowl semi-final followed, before the Gallopers split the points with the ADF in the playoff for eleventh-place after it was abandoned due to a severe storm.
With more experience behind them, GPS will undoubtedly be a better side in series to come of Queensland Premier Sevens.
11. Australian Defence Force (3.5 points)
It was another tough day for the ADF side in their second Queensland Premier Sevens tournament, the side losing all five of their matches to finish in equal eleventh-place.
Pool defeats to the Northern Territory and heavyweights Sunnybank and Bond were followed by a loss to Norths in the Bowl semi-final, before splitting the points with GPS in the eleventh-place playoff.
The side was led well by Josh Gray, who was a standout in all five games.
The experiences and strengthened combinations that come as a result of the Premier Sevens competition can only do positive things for the side ahead of their upcoming National Championships.
1. Sunnybank – 68
2. Bond University – 61
3. Souths – 59
4. Easts – 52
5. University of Queensland - 51
6. Wests – 50
7. Norths – 38
8. Brothers – 30
9. Northern Territory – 35
10. Iconz – 27
11. GPS – 18.5
12. Australian Barbarians* – 15
13. Australian Defence Force* – 5.5
14. Caloundra* – 0
* side has only played one Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens tournament.
14 DECEMBER 2018