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The Queensland Premier Rugby competition has intensified heading into round 13 with three teams tied for the lead and a tantalising battle between competition heavyweights Easts and Sunnybank at David Wilson Field headlining the action on Saturday.
Easts closed in on top spot after dispatching Sunshine Coast last week and are now tied with Brothers and University on 44 competition points, while defending premiers Sunnybank are gathering speed after infiltrating the top four for the first time this year.
Stringing consecutive wins together, the Dragons fired in their battle against GPS last week, securing a solid 34-19 win to knock the Gallopers out of fourth spot and, with the imminent return of a hoard of St.George Queensland Reds stars, Sunnybank are lining up their premiership defence.
The Dragons have named influential Reds prop Greg Holmes on the bench and teammate Albert Anae in the number one jersey, adding further vigour to Sunnybank’s defensive line as they prepare to take on the fiery Tigers attack.
It took a Peter Lee intercept-try in the dying stages for Sunnybank to snare a lucky one-point win over Easts in round four, but the Tigers have since lost just one game—coming against the top-ranked Brothers in round ten—and have proven arguably the competition’s most consistent performers.
Easts will be eager to take top spot this week and separate themselves from Brothers and University before they take on Wests the following Saturday, which will be broadcast live on BayFM radio station.
The Tigers will prove the ultimate test for the Dragons, who will look to consolidate their place in the top four ahead of GPS before another tough encounter against University the following week.
After suffering four losses in their past five games and falling outside the top four for the first time this season, GPS will be desperate to return to their winning ways this week when they face University.
While the Red Heavies haven’t shown their usual stubborn regular-season form following a draw with Souths last week, they remain a tough prospect for the falling Gallopers, and are vying for the top position ahead of Brothers and Easts.
GPS impressed in round four with a 41-26 victory over the Students, but incredibly none of the Jeeps point-scorers from that match will line up again this week, with Mitch King, Akeem Williams-Coveney, James Herbert and kicker Pat Smith all out of the line-up.
Coming off the back of three consecutive wins and a morale-boosting 22-all draw with University, Souths are primed to take advantage of Brothers’ form lapse when the two sides collide on Saturday at Chipsy Wood Oval.
Since losing injured playmaker and Reds recruit Dallan Murphy, the competition front-runners have lost consecutive games to bottom-five opponents Wests and Norths, but the Brothers’ outfit still boasts the firepower to hold on to their lead against Souths this week.
Norths, buoyed by their 19-17 win over Brothers last week, will be confident they can turn around their round-four loss to the Breakers when they travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Gold Coast have won just one other game this season and are coming off a loss to Wests, but will take confidence from their 39-24 round-four performance.
Wests’ 25-12 victory over the Breakers last week continued a string of impressive wins for the Bulldogs—including victories over Brothers, Sunnybank and GPS—and a win against the bottom-ranked Sunshine Coast this week will keep them in striking distance of the top group.
After suffering a 40-10 loss to Easts last week, the Stingrays have recorded just one win this season and the Bulldogs will fancy their chances this week at Stockland Stadium Sunshine Coast.
Download the round 13 Queensland Premier Rugby program (in pdf format) at the following link: http://www.redsrugby.com.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NFesz33PVg4%3d&tabid=533.
Queensland Premier Rugby Round 13 - Saturday 28 July
3:00pm – Easts v Sunnybank at David Wilson Field
3:00pm – Rugby Gold Coast v Norths at Glennon Park
3:00pm – Souths v Brothers at Chipsy Wood Oval
4:15pm – Sunshine Coast v Wests at Stockland Stadium Sunshine Coast
3:00pm – University v GPS at St Lucia
26 MAY 2013
24 MAY 2013
23 MAY 2013