According to the weatherman, temperatures around South-East Queensland soared to 34 degrees on Saturday, and from this furnace some sizzlingly good rugby was produced by some, while other teams left a lot to be desired on the park
Nudgee travelled to Ipswich looking to maintain their stranglehold on the QLD GPS competition, and proved they were up to the task. The Butcher Stripes outscored the men in red 71 to 17 in a comprehensive victory, leaving Nudgee one win away from securing their 40th Rugby Premiership since competition began in 1918.
The battle for second place was nearly dealt an upset as the newly resurrected Gregory Terrace Rugby program took on Brisbane State High at Tennyson, and the match left the supporters of both sides sweating through more than just the heat. State High were the better team by far in the opening 60 minutes, but couldn’t convert superior play into points even with two GT players in the sin-bin. BSHS played the match with a narrow 3 point lead before Terrace came back, pulling off a remarkable try in final play to steal the win 26-19
Churchie 17 defeated Brisbane Grammar 7
In 2012, Churchie was ultimately bested by Brisbane Grammar by a try to year 11 openside flanker Patrick Morrey. This year, BGS was without 2013 Captain Morrey, and the result went the way of the Anglicans in a scrappy affair plagued by injuries.
Churchie kicked off with the wind to start the match, and a Matt Marsden knock on amidst a swirling breeze on the Northgate cricket field posed ill tidings for the Grammar boys, as Churchie’s dangerous centres were salivating at the prospects of an attacking 10 metre scrum. Churchie were unable to win their own feed in face of a terrifying Grammar front row that popped both props before driving the scrum back several metres. A quick transfer of ball to electric fullback Tom Sly saw Grammar narrowly dodge a bullet, and Sly rocketed to halfway before being cut down by the cover defence.
A re-shuffled Grammar backline that saw regular flyhalf Fergus Halliday shift to his preferred position of halfback and the debut of 16A fullback Nyoah Rosmarin into the 10 jersey struggle to get over the gameline early, as Grammar set a much deeper attack than in previous unsuccusseful outings this season. In the face of strong Churchie defence, valiant efforts from centres Cam Griffin and Lachi Lanskey showed promise in the new line’s attacking potential, but did not yield significant yardage.
Churchie’s efficient defensive pressure forced BGS into kicking the ball away early in to the wind, and fullback Ben Ogilvie ran his return hard. Drawing defenders on the right flank, Ogilvie succeeded in putting Hugo Doessel (11) into space, proving too quick for the first line of defence, but not too quick for the second. The ball was turned over, and it became abundantly clear that these two teams were keen to throw everything they had at each other.
Churchie were missing star flyhalf Mack Mason due to a back injury sustained weeks ago, and replacement Max Quigley worked hard to control the game despite playing out of position. Inexperience did not stop Churchie from scoring early points in the match, as livewire outside Izaia Perese finished a classy set piece try off the back of an attacking 40 metre lineout. Shaky hands through the midfield eventually found their way to Perese on the left sideline, who was able to outrace both his opposite number and covering fullback to the tryline. Halfback Harry Nucifora could not convert, and Churchie led 5-0 just 6 minutes in to the match.
With confidence high, Churchie attacked with passion as a series of well-executed offloads resulted in inside centre Nigel Tanuvasa bursting clear of the defence 40 metres out, and a simple draw and pass saw Perese score his second in as many minutes. Nucifora converted, and Churchie looked to have establish dominance in the match.
A Quigley linebreak 2 phases after kick-off saw an overconfident cross field kick attempt find itself in the hands of Rosmarin, who was promptly hit viciously by Churchie’s chasing fullback Ben Ogilvie. Rosmarin was carried off the field with a dislocated collarbone, his 11 minute debut over just as soon as it was beginning. Grammar winger Matt Marsden moved to flyhalf, as year 10 wing Matt Forsyth was substituted on to the wing.
The ensuing scrum saw Marsden take off in pursuit of the ghost of a hole in the defensive line that was abruptly slammed shut by the shoulder of Nigel Tanuvasa. Tanuvasa was shown yellow for the charge, and Grammar kicked for the line in a critical moment in the match. Luckily for Churchie, Grammar’s ineptitude in the backs saw another knock on waste their opportunity to even up the game.
In the 26th minute, good play from Grammar resulted in 2 linebreaks in consecutive phases, but once again they failed to put points on the board – knocking on 15 metres out in what was fast becoming a recurring trend for the Grammar boys as panic set in.
A poor kick was followed by a poor chase by Grammar, and Izaia Perese sprinted through the middle of the park on a kick return before finishing on the right wing. Nucifora converted, taking Churchie to a 17-0 lead at the break.
Poor discipline from Churchie gifted Grammar a 5 metre scrum to start the second half as the referee marched them 10 for a backchatting penalty. For the next 10 minutes BGS were camped in Churchie’s red zone, never moving behind the 15 metre line, but unable to score points. Ironically, first points for the Grammar boys came as soon as they were kicked beyond halfway by the boot of Nigel Tanuvasa.
A Churchie defender rushed up by himself, exposing his teammates’ defensive line, and Grammar’s third flyhalf of the match Ferg Halliday had no issue about putting Lachi Lanskey through the hole for a 50 metre solo try.
With the lead reduced to 10, and with an almighty gale blowing behind, the Grammar crowd was licking it’s lips to see if 2012’s result could be repeated.
The second half was characterised by the lack of organization and structure from both teams, and punctuated by injuries to Brisbane Grammar. With the 6 injuries to Brisbane Grammar, Churchie couldn’t be matched and the game finished with no further scoring.
Not the best win for the Churchie boys, but they’ll take the 2 points as the race for second place heats up. Churchie will need to have far more structure to take on GT – the pace of Perese which won Churchie the game won’t be nearly as effective against a much faster outfit in total.
As for Brisbane Grammar, this loss marks their 4th consecutive loss, and need to pull off upsets against Southport, Terrace, or both if they are to avoid the wooden spoon and go from first place to last in just the 1 year.
ACGS 17 (Tries: Izaia Perese 3, Conversions: Harry Nucifora 1) defeated
BGS 7 (Tries: Lachi Lanskey, Conversions: Zach Laud)
Southport 53 defeated Toowoomba Grammar 3
By HJ Nelson
It was a hot day in Toowoomba, and a good crowd was enjoying the sunny conditions. TSS were without Evander Guttenbeil and Joel Brown due to injury, and were replaced by Toby Greenup and Josh Neal. TGS had Australian Schoolboy rep Liam Jurd returning at Fullback. The stage was set, and if there was ever to be an upset to Southport’s highly skilled side, it would be today.
Line breaks from Josh Neal (7), Joey Fittock (13) and Isaac Nathan (11) early in the first half led to tries and put TSS out to a 17 – 0 lead. Nili Fielea (12) was then sin-binned for a shoulder-charge, but TGS were unable to capitalize, letting try to Jake Upfield (4) and penalty goal to Mitch Third (10) had TSS out to a 27 – 0 lead. With only a few minutes left in the first half, TGS opted for a ambitious long-range penalty goal into the breeze. But Will Gilbert (9) was equal to the task, and TGS were on the board. Half time score 27 – 3.
TSS started the second half strongly with a quick try in the corner, but TGS struck back with a try to Dean Bender (13) who showed great pace to score in the corner after a 40 metre run. Could TSS be about to blow another 20+ point lead ?
Unfortunately for TGS, it wasn’t to be, with Nili Fielea , Jake Upfield & Luke Papworth (8) getting second half tries to go with their first half 5-pointers. TGS never gave up, and were rewarded with the try of the match, a chip and chase from the left winger George McCormick (14), which was started deep in the TGS half. TSS then pressured the TGS goal line for the remainder of the match, but good TGS defence kept them out. Full time score 53 – 3.
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