This match report of the East versus Uni match comes straight off the forum by regular contributor Tigerland12. Tigerland12 loves Qeensland Premier Rugby and his beloved Easts, and goes to most matches.
Easts v. University
Strange but pleasant conditions created a healthy crowd for Round 9′s match of the round between two of the form heavy weights of the competition this year. Leading into the Premier game, University were looking for a clean sweep of the Tigers, given they had won all games that day. The size of the crowd watching, given the Wallabies game, was quite impressive, showing the support for Easts this season.
After an outstanding gritty performance against GPS the week prior, Easts looked completely lethargic in the opening exchanges, whilst University were playing as if they were continuing their domination of the Sunshine Coast in the last round. Dominant ball running and physical exchanges, exemplified by playmakers Ambrosini and Thompson running the show, the Heavies backline ran riot out wide with O’Leary and Tuffley going over in the corner.
Lead by Red Kevin Davis, the University forward back simply out muscled the Tigers who were clearly missing the services of Ed Quirk and Jarrad Buttler in the backrow. Despite a Matt Brandon penalty, Uni set up camp in the Easts half and seemed to put the game to bed by the halftime whistle with further tries to Ambrosini and Davis.
One can only imagine the mouthful coach Pat Richards gave his side at halftime, as the Tigers switched into gear straight from the re-start. In a complete role reversal, Easts asserted dominance in the pack with 7′s star Jordie Tupou and Michael Stollberg belting rucks and the University ball runners. After maintained pressure just outside the University 22, Easts quickly put the foot down with Matt Brandon sparking two tries with an outstanding try to wing Mansell quickly followed by a charged down score of his own. Maintained pressure from Brandon’s boot kept University on the back foot as they seemed to begin to struggle in the physical exchanges.
After more pressure in the University half, Tigers regular stand out David Skelton gassed his way around the University left flank to set up Toby White to score Easts third try, which sparked the crowd who began to realise a win was suddenly on the cards.
But it was Easts bonus point try that was seemingly the game breaker, with livewire Tupou breaking two tackles and producing a side step that would of made Shane Williams jealous to scoot around fullback Tuffley to score under the posts, sending the crowd into a rapture.
Despite the massive turnaround the Red Heavies were not finished yet, as they sustained 10 minutes of pressure on the Easts goal line, coming inches short on numerous occasions as the Easts tight forwards made crucial tackles. The final nail in the coffin however came from a typically freakish Chris Mansell break, as he stepped and gassed his way around the vulnerable University left flank to chip and allow David Skelton to re-gather after a lucky bounce and a lethargic chase from Tuffley to score in the corner.
In one of the best 40 minutes of football I have seen from Easts in the past years, they turned around a 29-3 halftime scoreline to overcome the defiant University side and put on 36 unanswered points. David Skelton was rewarded with a man of the match award for his highly involved performance, with Jordan Tupou and Chris Mansell other standouts.
As we come to the half way point in the season, Easts have put their hand up as genuine title contenders with two resounding victories over fellow challengers in the past two rounds, and now face rivals Brothers at Crosby Park in what is sure to be a brutal encounter. University on the other hand were not bad in the second half as the scoreline may insinuate. They definitely have the goods to win the competition, but seem to lack any real x-factor from their outside backs.
One final note on the game was the support for both sides at Bottomely Park. I was personally expecting a watered down crowd due to the scheduling of the Wallabies game, but with the beer garden, stands and clubhouse quite full it showed the support for the Premier competition this season. This was exemplified by a majority of Easts supporters staying 10minutes after the final whistle to give the side a large ovation as they exited the pitch.
3rdTier Rugby, SUPPORT IT.
Easts 39 (J Tuapou M Brandon C Mansell D Skelton T White tries M Brandon 2 pens 4 cons) d University of Queensland 29 (K Davies J Ambrosini S O’Leary W Tuffley tries W Tuffley pen 3 cons)
The Ladder after Round 9
|Team||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||For||Against||Difference||BP <7p||BP 4t||Points|
|University of Queensland||9||6||3||0||340||221||119||1||7||32|
|Rugby Gold Coast||9||2||7||0||165||296||-131||1||1||10|
|Sunshine Coast Rugby Union||8||0||8||0||103||314||-211||0||0||0|
Next Weeks Fixtures
|Home Team||Versus||Away Team||Location||Game Time|
|Brothers||v||Easts||Brothers / Jack Ross Oval||1515|
|GPS||v||Norths||GPS / Yoku Road||1520|
|Sunnybank||v||Souths||Sunnybank / Old Mac Oval||1500|
|Sunshine Coast Rugby Union||v||Rugby Gold Coast||Sunshine Coast Rugby Union / Stockland Park||1445|
|University of Queensland||v||Wests||University of Queensland / St Lucia 1 (5A)||1500|
And Remember If You Come, They Will Build It