Super Rugby


6/18/2019

NEWSTEAD BREWING CO HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP- 5 THINGS WE LEARNED IN ROUND 12


By Tom Primmer

1. BANKERS ON THE RISE


Sunnybank secured consecutive wins for the first time in 2019 with a narrow 32-31 victory over Norths at Oldmac Oval over the weekend.

In front of a packed crowd at the Bank, it looked as though Norths would ruin the club’s Ladies Day celebrations on the back of a Nick Chapman masterclass, with the flyhalf bagging a personal tally of 21-points to propel his side to a 31-19 lead with half an hour to play.

The Dragons refused to roll over however, responding with 13-unasnwered points to take their first lead of the match and steal a one-point victory.

Liam McNamara was classy as ever at the back for the home side, crossing for a double in the win, while backrowers Dillon Wihongi and Fala Tuala scored a try apiece through some strong carries.

It was the Sunnybank forwards who inspired the comeback win, the pack gaining ascendancy at scrum-time in the second half with veteran Josh Afu and the returning Dave Feao both getting through a mountain of work.

Tom Lucas made a difference for the home-side off the bench late in the game, having missed the first half due to an engineering exam. 

The win extends the distance on the ladder between Sunnybank in eighth and Norths in last position, with the Bankers now enjoying a week off before they face Brothers away from home in Round 14.

The heart-breaking loss was not without positives for the Eagles, with Chapman and winger Jordan Luke both producing strong performances for the side.

They’ll host Brothers in the battle of the North-side this weekend, with an improved showing from the Eagles forward pack needed if they are to topple the Brethren.



2. BUNTER BOWL FINDS A NEW HOME AT BOND

It’s always a tough trip down the M1 to face Bond and GPS were shown just why in Round 12, the Bullsharks bringing an end to Jeeps’ eight-game winning streak with a 37-26 upset win, claiming the Bunter Bowl in the process. 

The sides traded tries for much of the encounter and GPS led by a point at the 52-minute mark, before Bond found the line for two unanswered tries late in the game to seal the win and end the Bunter Bowl’s stay at Yoku Road.

The Bond attack hummed from all parts of the field in the 11-point victory, with the home side running in six tries to the Galloper’s two.

With Mitch Third returning to the starting line-up for the first time in 2019, the Bullsharks backline was in top gear on the Gold Coast. Joey Fittock, Dan Boardman and Harry Nucifora all displayed the skills that make them some of the competition’s most dangerous players at their best.

The victory further reignites Bond’s charge to the finals, and although they need to win almost all of their remaining games, the side is primed to make a late run to the top-four if they can continue to play like we saw on Saturday.

They’ll look to continue their form when they travel to Tigerland to meet Easts this weekend, while the Gallopers will be raring to return to the winner’s circle when they host Souths.



3. STUDENTS KEEP FINALS HOPES ALIVE


University of Queensland have kept their finals hopes alive and well with a dominant 42-14 win over Souths at Chipsy Wood Oval.

After the Magpies crossed for the first try of the game through Emori Waqavulagi in the second-minute of play, it was almost all one-way traffic at the Nest with the Heavies running in six five-pointers to record a 28-point win.

UQ skipper James Dalgleish was perfect from the tee, the flyhalf slotting all six of his conversion attempts in a polished display, while hulking inside-centre TJ Siakisini was also strong with a pair of tries.

The win ensures UQ stays in the finals race and moves the side into fifth-spot on the ladder as they welcome back their St.George Queensland Reds contingent in the coming weeks.

With another win this weekend, the Students could leap into the top-four after they host westside rivals the Bulldogs at St Lucia this weekend, with the match potentially deciding who sits in fourth and fifth after 13 rounds of competition.

The performance from Souths seemed far from their usual in recent weeks, with the result making it two-straight losses for the Magpies and putting their top-four spot in danger.

They’ll look to bounce back and reconsolidate their spot in the top-half of the ladder when they travel to Yoku Road to face heavyweights GPS this Saturday.


TJ Siakisini scored a double for the Students. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

4. BRETHREN MAINTAIN POLE POSITITION


They say good teams find a way to win, and Brothers continue to prove just how good of a team they are in 2019 with a dramatic 36-31 victory over Wests in Round 12.

After the sides were locked at 17-all at half-time, the Bulldogs got out to a 14-point lead early in the second-half to the delight of a packed Sylvan Road crowd on Old Dogs Day.

But as they have done all season, the Brethren continued to fight, as two tries from the men in the butcher’s stripes brought the sides to 31-all as the full-time siren sounded.

A draw would have done the clash justice, however it wasn’t to be for this Brothers outfit, with a looping Rohan Saifoloi ball hitting Byron Ralston on the chest in the 83rd minute of play, before the youngster denied a desperate Hunter Paisami tackle and crossed for the match-winner in the left-hand corner.

Missing key prop and captain Tom Moloney, the Brethren battled all afternoon in front of a packed Wests Old Dogs Day crowd, with the midfield combination of Saifoloi, Seb Wileman and Paddy James key in the five-point win.

The victory ensures Brothers keep their spot at the top of the ladder, while with Jeeps dropping a game, it also lengthens the gap to nine-points between first and second.

Despite the loss, Wests will be steeled by their strong showing against the ladder leaders, as well as a two-try display from winger Liam Moseley.

The Bulldogs will meet UQ next week at St Lucia, while Brothers will host Norths.



5. ROUND 13 READY


This weekend will see another set of cracking matchups in Queensland Premier Rugby, with rivalry and revenge aplenty.

In the Match of the Round, University of Queensland will be out to set the record straight against Wests, after suffering a 70-21 loss to their west-side rivals back in Round 4. 

Easts and Bond make up another clash, and after the Tigers claimed a narrow four-point comeback win over the Bullsharks in their last encounter in Robina, the Gold Coasters will be looking to back up their win over GPS in front of a vocal Tigerland crowd.

Next is the north-side derby, and despite their contrasting positions on the ladder, there will be plenty of feeling between Brothers and Norths this weekend.

After Norths secured bragging rights last year, the chance to reclaim north-side supremacy was pencilled in the Brethen’s calendar from the season’s start, and they’ll have the chance to make it a clean sweep against the Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Crosby Park.

Finally, Souths will have to cross the river and face what is sure to be determined GPS outfit after their Round 12 loss to Bond. With coaching staff and players having moved between these two clubs in previous years, this is a rivalry that is sure to be fuelled by the ever vocal ‘Glue Factory’ on Saturday afternoon. 

It’s going to be another intriguing weekend of Hospital Challenge Cup Rugby.


Rugby Traveller