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A tantalising top of the table encounter between heavyweights Brothers and GPS on Saturday headlines round five of Queensland Premier Rugby with the winner to become the competition’s clear frontrunner.
After GPS downed third-ranked University in round four, Brothers and the Gallopers remain the only undefeated teams in the competition—with the Brethren claiming top spot by one bonus point—setting the stage for a decisive encounter at Yoku Road on Saturday.
Brothers have been the clear leaders of the competition this season and their 24-11 victory last week over Souths took their points tally to an incredible 140 from four games—a points difference that eclipses GPS by 50 points.
Brothers however are yet to face a top-ranked team this year and will have to adapt to the challenge of GPS, who proved they are serious title contenders after their victory over University at the weekend followed a win against defending premiers Sunnybank in round three.
GPS fought off an undefeated University team boasting three St.George Queensland Reds talents last week, coming from a 12-3 deficit to claim a morale-boosting 41-26 bonus point win and the inaugural Halley Appleby Memorial Trophy.
For the third consecutive week GPS will include towering Reds number eight Radike Samo while Brother boast the high-flying Murphy brothers, who continue to carve up the field alongside leading try-scorer Charlie Freney.
After squandering their early lead, University will welcome back Reds prop Guy Shepherdson as they look to bounce back from their loss to GPS when they take on the fifth-ranked Sunnybank at St Lucia.
Despite a mixed start to the season the Dragons are beginning to apply pressure on the competition leaders and are just four points behind the Red Heavies on the ladder after coming out of round four with a tight one-point win over Easts.
While a knee injury to number eight Siologa Leota last week added to an already lengthy injury list for Sunnybank, they will hope to continue their momentum as they look to upset the defending minor premiers.
Easts will endeavour to work their way back into the winner’s circle this week when they face Wests at David Wilson Oval, after suffering a devastating 20-19 loss to the Dragons at the weekend.
With Wests 17-6 drumming of the Sunshine Coast marking two wins on the trot, the Bulldogs will prove a challenge for the Tigers as they continue to come together under former Reds coach Phil Mooney and show impressive defence to keep the Stingrays try-less last week.
The young Sunshine Coast team remains without a point on the ladder in 2012 and will relish the chance this week at Stockland Stadium Sunshine Coast against Norths—the only other team yet to record a win this season.
The bottom of the table clash gives both teams an opportunity to gain valuable points in the competition this week, but Norths will enter the game slight favourites over the Stingrays with the return of influential number eight Carlos Gavidi, who has missed the past three games due to injury.
The Gold Coast scored a decisive 39-24 win over Norths last week and climbed to within two points of the top four, giving the Breakers renewed vigour for their encounter with Souths this Saturday at Albert Park.
The Magpies suffered a 24-11 loss to Brothers in round four, but showed sturdy defence in limiting the competition leaders—who had scored almost 100 points in the preceding two weeks—and will prove a tough challenge for the Breakers this week.
> Download the round five Queensland Premier Rugby program (in pdf format) at the following link: http://www.redsrugby.com.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=j-gxlDqxpik%3d&tabid=533.
Queensland Premier Rugby Round Five- Saturday 26 May
Sunshine Coast v Norths
Stockland Stadium Sunshine Coast at 2:45pm
Easts v Wests
David Wilson Oval at 3:00pm
Rugby Gold Coast v Souths
Albert Park at 3:00pm
University v Sunnybank
St Lucia at 3:00pm
GPS v Brothers
Yoku Road at 3:20pm
20 JUNE 2013
18 JUNE 2013
17 JUNE 2013