Yes, it’s that time of year again and we’re done with the first round of finals for Queensland Premier Rugby.
The two Premier Rugby semi-finals were played today in spectacular fashion. Sunnybank managed a very narrow win over GPS, winning 30-27 in the elimination match. This means that the men in green and black will advance to the preliminary final next week against Brothers. Grand Final 2011 rematch! University prevailed convincingly over Brothers, winning 59-12. They’re straight into the Grand Final while Brothers nervously await their fate next Sunday.
Bring on the next two weeks!
Here’s the link to all club rugby semi-final results from the weekend:
And here’s my match report for the major semi!
University have earned their place in the 2012 Grand Final with an incredible 59-12 win over Brothers.
Things started to go wrong for Brothers in the first minute, with star flanker Charlie Freney receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle. This affected Brothers’ game-play and mental game, as University coach Mick Heenan acknowledged later: ‘It would have been a really tough game for Brothers mentally considering they lost a player so early on in the game.’
Reds player Luke Morahan proved himself to be a crucial part of the team’s win, scoring three tries and being vocal in setting up numerous others. He worked especially well with fellow centre and brother Simon from the ARU Academy and they added good depth to their team’s backline. Will Tuffley had a good kicking game, converting most of his team’s tries.
The first half saw Brothers concede six tries. Throughout the game, University were able to capitalise on some handling errors from the Brethren and score some five-pointers on the counter.
Despite the unflattering final score, Brothers demonstrated some effective attack and defence at times. A rolling maul at the end of the first half led to a try and gave them some hope of a better second half. Winger Lachlan Creighton showed characteristically good defence and placed a strong hit on University’s Elliott Hagen to prevent a runaway try.
Brothers returned to the second half with increased motivation and early in the half they defended well and prevented any further points from being conceded. Centre Anthony Pyers was able to make some good breaks for the try-line but was stopped in his tracks by University’s speedy backline. The Brethren managed to score one more try before the final siren but University were ultimately the clear victors in the 2012 Major Semi-Final.
Mick Heenan was happy to get the win but doesn’t believe it was cause to celebrate too much. ‘It’s great to make the final but it’s not over yet and we just need to focus on the grand final. We need to make a lot of improvement to be able to win on the 23rd’, he said.
University face a well-earned break next week before the Grand Final on the 23rd of September. Brothers will have a 2011 Grand Final rematch against reigning Premiers Sunnybank next Sunday in order to determine University’s opposition for the following week.