Super Rugby


6/25/2019

NEWSTEAD BREWING CO HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP- FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED IN ROUND 13


By Tom Primmer


1. STUDENTS CONTINUE FINALS CHARGE AND CRUSH BULLDOG HEARTS


The University of Queensland have made it three-straight victories to break into the top-four and reignite their premiership hopes following a dramatic 21-14 win over Wests at St Lucia.

For the second week in a row, the Bulldogs were beaten after the siren with a Jacobus van Eeden show-and-go try sealing both a double for the scrumhalf and a seven-point win for the Students.

After Wests crossed early, the Heavies hit back with tries to van Eeden and Sam Wallis, before a slick Carter Gordon short ball put a charging Hunter Paisami over the try line to even the ledger in the 58th minute.

Both sides had attacking opportunities in the final 20-minutes, but it was Uni who were successful in breaking the stalemate, with van Eeden’s burrowing effort coming after a mass of phases on the Wests try line in the 80th minute.

After a slow start to the season, the win propels Uni back into the top four and within striking distance of Souths in third-place.

The Students will host Norths next week as they aim to continue their late season charge.

Wests must dust themselves off from the heart break of the last two rounds and face a GPS side who has also lost their last two encounters, with the Sylvan Road clash crucial for the Doggies finals hopes as they sit in fifth on the ladder, equal on points with Uni.


Jacobus van Eeden scored the match winner for the Students. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

2. A GAME OF TWO HALVES AT HUGH COURTNEY 


It was truly a game of two halves at Shaw Road in Round 13, with Brothers laying on 42 unanswered points in the second stanza to sweep the 2019 northside derby and extend their advantage on top of the ladder.

After a helicopter touched down on Hugh Courtney Oval to deliver the match ball and Green Beacon Cup, the opening 40-minutes of play saw an attacking blitz from the Eagles with Matt McGahan steering the side to a 26-0 lead on the back of a Douglas Rayment double, a 90-metre Duncan Paia’aua intercept try and another five-pointer to Conor Chittenden.

Electric wingers Jordan Luke and Veresa Matatini were at their menacing best for the home side, while the playmaking skill of McGahan and Paia’aua was a class above on Family Day at Norths.

The final 40-minutes told a different story however, with Brothers running riot to score six tries and demolish any hopes of an upset win for the Eagles.

Paddy James crossed for a double within the first ten-minutes of the second-half, while Rohan Saifoloi was flawless both off the tee and with ball in hand, slotting all six conversions and setting up a number of tries as the Brethren secured their 11th win of the season.’

The ladder-leaders have now opened up a twelve-point gap between themselves and Jeeps in second-spot, with a return to the finals for Brothers looking inevitable.

They’ll host Sunnybank next week in a bid to win their sixth-straight game.

Despite their second-half fadeout, Norths will see plenty of positives from their performance in the opening 40-minutes, with McGahan’s return providing the side with the direction around the park they need.

A clash with UQ at St Lucia awaits the Eagles this weekend, where they’ll hope to disrupt Uni’s run to the finals and back up their 36-26 upset win over the Heavies in Round 5.



3. A DAY FOR DOUBLES AT YOKU ROAD


Souths held off a fast-finishing Jeeps side in Round 13 to secure a narrow 29-28 win and impose back-to-back losses on the Gallopers for the first time in 2019, also winning the Torkington-Daley Cup for the first time in eight years. 

Given the year that Souths stalwart Peter ‘Doubles’ Daley has had with his battle against Cancer, this win and the chance to hoist the trophy named after him was a special moment for everyone at Souths. 

The Magpies got out to a 24-7 lead early in the second-half, with a brilliant Emori Waqavulagi chip and chase try and a Harley Fox runaway effort from a GPS lineout throw stunning the Ashgrove crowd.

The Gallopers soon hit back with two tries of their own to bring the score to 24-21 with 15-minutes to play, before Scott Malolua and Fox combined to put flanker Josateki Murray over to give the Magpies an unassailable eight-point lead.

A penalty try to the hosts in the 79th minute threatened to derail Souths’ celebrations, but it was merely consolation as the visitors held on to claim a one-point win and third-spot on the ladder.

After consecutive losses in the past two weeks, Souths looked a different side with scrumhalf Malolua back on the park, while the front row combination of Franko Abdalla, Sean Farrell and Jake Simeon where strong against the usually dominant GPS pack.

Souths will return to Chipsy Wood Oval next weekend to host Easts in a replay of last season’s minor semi-final, with Jeeps desperate to return to the winner’s circle after consecutive losses when they travel to the Kennel to face Wests.



4. BOND CLAIM REDEMPTION OVER TIGERS


After a heart-breaking loss to Easts in Round 4, Bond University got their revenge on the weekend with a last-gasp 18-17 win over the Tigers at David Wilson Field, retaining the Bunter Bowl in the process.

In a frantic final ten-minutes, Bullsharks flyer Joey Fittock crossed for the sides second try to seemingly secure a win for the visitors, before an Eli Pilz penalty kicked the Tigers back into the lead in the 78th minute to the delight of the rowdy Tigerland crowd.

Bond weren’t done however, with a ruck infringement penalty after the siren giving the side the chance to steal a win at the death.

In just his second 80-minute game after two knee injuries, flyhalf Mitch Third stepped up and slotted the penalty from 20-metres out to give Bond two consecutive wins and keep their slim finals hopes alive.

Fittock and Max Dowd crossed for the visitors two tries, while Fred Frewtrell and Jack Frampton found the line for Easts in a low-scoring encounter.

The win pushes Bond into fifth-place on the ladder on 25 points, the side trailing UQ and Wests, who both sit on 27-points, ensuring it’s still do-or-die for the Gold Coasters for the remainder of the season.

The Bullsharks have a bye week in Round 14, before they host Souths the week after in a showdown between two teams with serious finals aspirations.

Like their Round 13 opponents, Easts now need to win their remaining games to return to the finals again in 2019, with a tough clash against Souths away from home awaiting them this weekend.



5. RETURN OF THE REDS


With the Super Rugby season at its end, St.George Queensland Reds players have begun to return to the Queensland Premier Rugby scene and have already left their mark on the competition.

Matt McGahan and Duncan Paia’aua were excellent for Norths in the first-half of their eventual loss to Brothers, while Filipo Daugunu and Moses Sorovi took their places in the already star-studded Wests backline.

In the same game, Adam Korczyk packed down in the backrow for the Students, as scrumhalf Scott Malolua (Souths) and towering lock Angus Blyth (Bond) helped lead their sides to away wins over GPS and Easts respectively.

With five games remaining in the Hospital Challenge Cup regular season, there should be plenty more showings from Queensland representatives as the race to the finals heats up.


Filipo Daugunu was in action for Wests on the weekend. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

Rugby Traveller