It’s hard to believe that in a month, the last round of Premier Rugby for the year will be done and dusted!! As we move closer to the finals, the battle for the top four gets more and more interesting each week.
Easts bounced back well after last week’s disappointment, winning 49-27 against Wests.
Norths had a whopping 62-3 victory over the Sunshine Coast, Uni defeated Sunnybank 30-17, Souths got up over the Gold Coast winning 50-27 and Brothers had a nail-biting win over GPS -36-28.
The season has gone by really quickly and it’s time to start considering who the top four will be in four weeks time. Who is everyone’s pick for the top four?
Hope everyone enjoys my match report.
Brothers v GPS.
A thrilling encounter between competition heavyweights Brothers and GPS has rewarded Brothers with a 36-28 victory and a strong grasp on the competition lead.
Being a tight game from the onset, both Brothers and GPS showcased their skills and ensured that the large Crosby Park crowd were in for a treat.
Brothers got off to a shaky start, with their attack occasionally lacking support and a brief lull in defence was cause for them to concede a try in the opening minutes. They were quick to turn this around though, with winger Lachlan Creighton executing a skilful hit and in turn prevented a second try from being conceded in the 18th minute.
Brothers’ Damon Murphy had an outstanding game, playing a large role in setting up all five of the Brethren’s tries. The fast-moving combination of Creighton and Murphy worked particularly well in the first half and this was able to be transferred to the scoreboard, with tries from prop Kirwin Sanday and Lachlan Creighton. GPS coach Shane Arnold was happy with his team’s efforts and acknowledged the talent of the Brothers backline, “I think the boys’ effort and attitude was there but Brothers had a lot of talent out wide and they used it smartly and were able to execute really well.” The backline was further enhanced with Reds winger Dom Shipperley coming on for the Brethren in the second half.
The boot of Aporosa Tuqiri was almost right on the mark throughout the match and his skilful execution of various penalty goals almost levelled the score at various points throughout the match.
GPS had a strong, fast-moving backline that proved to be dangerous near the try-line. When the score was a tight 28-23 to Brothers in the second half, a smooth intercept and break from GPS presented an opportunity to level the score but Brothers’ defence held strong and stopped the Gallopers just before the line. GPS’ quest to cross the line once more was fulfilled at the final siren and this was through a break in Brothers’ defence.
Brothers coach Matt Kaye was pleased with the result and the team’s current position but believes that the conceded tries were preventable, “It was a very physical game and every week is going to be physical –GPS played really well and we made a few errors so we just need to keep building and improving from here.”
With a bonus point also being awarded after a try from Damon Murphy, Brothers will remain at the top of the ladder and battle it out against University next week. GPS will be aiming to keep their finals hopes alive next week, with a clash against the Gold Coast.
East v Wests
by Eastcoast Aces
The game went according to script. Wests had a good scrum and focused their attention on the breakdown and the narrow defensive channels.This meant for a slow start to the game with a large number of handling errors. Easts scored there first try when Skelton took advantage of a mis match on the short side to slice through the gap, drew the fullback and passed to Wilder to score in the corner. Easts scored 2 more opportune tries in the first half while Wests had a try and 2 penalty goals.
The second half opened up a little more for both teams. When Easts were able to hold onto the ball for 6+ phases the backs were able to take advantage of defensive gaps. Almost every opportunity that came their way the Easts backs pounced. Such as an intercept try to White and a kick ahead off a Wests mistake by Mansel for another.
Wests forwards were able to disrupt Easts at the breakdown, but they weren’t able to construct any real pressure or attack apart from fullback Aukosa. Who was dangerous every time he touched the ball and must have the best offload in the comp. If I were Mooney I would be searching hard for a half back fly half combination that can control a game, that the top clubs such as Easts, Sunnybank and brothers have. Until then mid table battlers is the best they Will ever manage.
Couldn’t pick a man of the match. The ref was a little lenient on ruck infringements and one howler not calling Wests offside in front of the kicker but otherwise was not bad. And the ladies of the western suburbs of Brisbane were looking their best for ladies day at the kennel.
Sunnybank v Uni
The opening try of the match was a penalty try to Sunnybank, while Uni kicked two penalty goals. Despite the scoreline sitting at 7-6 for much of the first half, it was actually a great game to watch. There was some fantastic expansive play, some great scrambling defence and some really hard hits. That was probably what struck me most; the sound of bodies coming together indicated that there will be some very sore bodies getting out of bed tomorrow!
Particular standout for me is Matt Lucas – Uni forward runners were running straight at him all game and he didn’t take a backward step, didn’t miss a tackle, and he put them on the deck. The Tahs have picked up a fantastic player there. Oh, and he’s also a great bloke- if given the opportunity by Tahs media unit and hierarchy, the kids will love him.
Uni scored shortly before half. I’d love to tell you who scored, but I was in the bathroom and then Sunnybank kicked a penalty on half so the score at half-time was 11-10.
The second half opened up a bit, with Sunnybank scoring a cracking try just after half time. Sunnybank were actually busting through tackles, making line breaks and threatening the defensive line all day, but desperate defence by the Uni back three stopped what could’ve easily become a bloodbath. The Bank really do give the impression that they can score from anywhere.
For the first time in what feels like many weeks, Uni stuck to the game plan in the second half by playing a more settled game. Chibba Hanson had a lot to do with lifting the intensity without , and he’s able to lift the players around him too. From what I’ve seen when Uni play Bank, Albert Anae seems to be that player for Sunnybank. When he went off with a head knock, the game seemed to swing again. Thankfully Albert’s ok.
There were tries scored, and I’m sure the try-scorers will be on the QRU website – I usually don’t pay that much attention to that stuff (sorry!). My impressions of the game (for what they’re worth – I’m not a coach, and I’ve never played rugby at the highest level.. ) is that Uni’s best players were Tim Mosey (intensity, organisation in defense and goalkicking), Curtis Browning (turnovers from tackles, strong runner, and a bloody hard player) and the combination of Nick Malouf and Connor Mitchell (Malouf playing his first game back at 7 after a couple of seasons in the centres, and Connor Mitchell is a colt. Both boys are in the 7s system. I counted both of them as one player as Connor went on for Malouf).
I’m sure others disagree or saw the game differently, but that’s how I saw it.
Round 15 Matches
Easts / David Wilson Field
Rugby Gold Coast
Rugby Gold Coast / Surfers Paradise RC, Albert Park
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union / Stockland Park
University of Queensland
University of Queensland / St Lucia 1 (5A)
Wests / Sedgman Oval 1