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After one of the most tightly contested competitions in years, the contenders for the Queensland Premier Rugby title have been narrowed down to just two with defending Hospital Cup champions Sunnybank to take on 2010 winners University in the Grand Final at Ballymore on September 23.
University goes into the match rested and confident after a week off following an authoritative display over Minor Premiers Brothers in the Major Semi-Final, while Sunnybank have done it the hard way, firstly conquering GPS in the Minor Semi-Final before toppling Brothers in the Preliminary Final at the weekend.
Both final combatants flexed their attacking strength during the regular season with University racking up 637 points and 14 bonus points for scoring four or more tries as compared to Sunnybank with 635 points and 11 bonus points.
The two teams have already met twice this season with University coming away with the win on both occasions but Students coach Mick Heenan isn’t taking too much out of that come Sunday.
“You certainly gain confidence knowing you’ve done it before but we’ve both got different personnel on the paddock now so we’re certainly not going to be complacent,” Heenan said.
“We came out of the match against Brothers with a few niggles, to the point where if we had to play the next week we would have had to sit a few of them out, so it has helped us go into the game close to full strength.”
Despite their head-to-head record, the Dragons have been on a winning streak stretching back to the beginning of August. This is a feat coach Rod Seib puts down to Sunnybank’s “ability to always lift when we really have too”.
Sunnybank benefited from the inclusion of St.George Queensland Reds talent Ben Tapuai and Rob Simmons on the weekend although, should they be called into the Wallabies touring squad, would miss Sunday’s Grand Final.
It would be a blow to Sunnybank but Seib is confident they could overcome their loss.
“Every player on the squad knows what to do and can play their roles well and at the end of the day it gives someone else a chance to step up and show what they’ve got on Grand Final day,” he said.
“These guys want to make their own little bit of history.”
Entry into the Queensland Premier Rugby and Brisbane Rugby Grand Finals for adults is $15 on Sunday and $10 on Saturday. Both days are free for children (15 years and younger). Limited parking will also be available at Ballymore. Spectators are encouraged to carpool.
Schedule: Saturday 22 September at Ballymore
10:20am – Colts 2 – University v Souths
12:05am – Colts 1 – University v Sunnybank
1:50pm – 4th Grade – GPS v University
4:00pm – 3rd Grade - Sunnybank v University
6:10pm – Women – Sunnybank v Redlands
Schedule: Sunday 23 September at Ballymore
9:00am – 2nd Grade - GPS v Brothers
11:10am – 1st Grade – GPS v University
1:20pm – Premier Colts - University v Gold Coast
3:05pm – Premier Grade – University v Sunnybank
18 JUNE 2013
17 JUNE 2013