11/5/2018

QUEENSLAND PREMIER SEVENS TOURNAMENT 3 WRAP

 

Sunnybank have won their second Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens tournament to consolidate their place at the top of the competition ladder.

Sunnybank's Charlie Tupu celebrates the Dragon's win. Photo: Brendan Hertel

By Tom Primmer

Sunnybank have won their second Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens tournament to consolidate their place at the top of the competition ladder.


The side overcame the heat at Wests to win the third leg of the competition, with Souths, University and Easts rounding out the top four.

Sunnybank now hold a nine-point advantage over their closest competitor Souths, while Easts and Bond make up the rest of the trailing pack in the overall top four positions ahead of the next tournament at Easts on November 17. 

1. Sunnybank (22 points)

They’re the traditional powerhouse of Sevens in Premier Rugby and the Bankers continue to show us why.

The side started their day with wins over GPS and UQ, before a loss to Norths in their third pool match put their spot in the finals in doubt.

Their superior points difference ensured the side snuck into the finals over Bond and Norths and the Dragons then hit top gear.

An emphatic 47-7 victory over the then undefeated Easts in the semi-final sealed their spot in the big dance, before they overcame Souths 31-14 in the Grand Final to win the Cup.

Three Sunnybank players earnt tournament three Dream Team honours, with Charlie Tupu, Peter Lee and Neal McNamara all rewarded for their strong performances.

McNamara was also named player of the tournament as the side won their second tournament of the series.

With a nine-point lead over Souths on the overall ladder, another polished performance at Easts in a fortnights time will see Sunnybank crowned the inaugural Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens champions.

2. Souths (19 points)

The Magpies were once again impressive, finishing in second place as they did at Brothers last month.

The star-studded side went undefeated in the pool stages, with wins over Iconz, Northern Territory and hosts Wests sending them into the Cup finals.

The Magpies moved through the semi-finals with a win over UQ before they were defeated by champions Sunnybank in the Cup final.

Josh Coward backed up his leg two player of the tournament award with another selection in the Dream Team, while flyer Emori Waqavulagi was also judged as one of the tournament’s best with Dream Team selection.

Souths now sit just nine points behind leaders Sunnybank, and if the side could muster a win next tournament and force the Dragons out of the top four at Easts, the Magpies could bring the competition silverware home.

3. University of Queensland (15 points)

The Students returned to form at Sylvan Road with their first top four finish in the Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens competition.

The side started their day with a win over Norths, before succumbing 29-12 to eventual champions Sunnybank in their next match.

They hit back in resounding style in their next pool match, with a 61-0 win over GPS sealing their position in the Cup finals on points difference.

The Heavies fell to Souths in the semi-finals, before defeating Easts 34-12 to finish third and bring 15 competition points back to St Lucia.

The Students also had a surprise inclusion for the tournament, with former NRL flyer Zac Santo making the trip down from Townsville to feature for the Red Heavies. 

With one tournament remaining, Uni will be looking for another strong performance to lift themselves further up the table.

4. Easts (13 points)

The Tigers finished the pool stages undefeated and on top of the ladder before fading in the finals to finish in fourth position overall.

The side defeated Brothers, the Australian Defence Force and tournament two winners Bond in the pool stages to book a semi-final match up with Sunnybank.

A 40-point loss to the Bankers followed, before the Tigers were defeated by UQ to finish in fourth.

The Tigers sit in third on the overall ladder and will be looking for an even stronger performance in a fortnight’s time when they host the final leg of the 2018 competition.

5. Wests (12 points)

The home side finished the pool stages in seventh position before a late flurry saw the Bulldogs win the Plate in the competition’s third leg.

A first up draw to the Northern Territory was followed by a win over Iconz and a loss to eventual runners-up Souths in the pool stages, with the side finishing in seventh.

The Bulldogs then overcame Norths 28-17 in the Plate semi-final before wowing the home crowd at the Kennel with a 10-point victory over the Mosquitoes to bring the Plate to Sylvan Road.

The side now sits just two points behind Bond on the competition ladder and has the chance to break into the top four with a strong performance at Easts on November 17.

6. Northern Territory (10 points)

Tournament three marked the Mosquitoes most successful finish in Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens.

After tenth and eighth-place finishes in the first two legs, the side finished as Plate runners-up in a huge success for Northern Territory Rugby.

After starting their day with a draw to Wests and a loss to Souths, the side rallied to defeat Iconz 31-17 and book their place in the Plate finals in eighth-place after the pool stage.

The Mosquitoes went on to spring an upset win over last tournament winners Bond with a 24-22 victory in the semi-final, before falling to the hosts in the Plate Grand Final.

The experience of playing against Queensland’s best is doing good things for the Northern Territory side and they will be looking to finish even further up the ladder in the final tournament.

7. Bond University (10 points)

The Gold-Coasters will be disappointed with their tournament three effort.

After winning the Cup at Brothers last month and boasting a number of Sevens stars within the squad, the Bullsharks looked to be one of the teams to beat at Wests.

The side narrowly missed the top four, with just two points separating their points difference to that of the fourth-placed Sunnybank.

Bond’s tournament started positively with strong wins over the ADF and Brothers, before falling 36-10 to Easts to finish in fifth-place.

The side lost their Plate semi-final to the Northern Territory, before defeating Norths 26-12 to finish in seventh overall.

Dan Boardman and Corbin Kiernan were both selected in the Dream Team for their strong performances.

Bond now sits in fourth on the overall ladder and with Wests trailing closely behind, the side will need another strong performance at Easts to keep their position in the top four.

8. Norths (8 points)

After a fourth-place finish at Crosby Park last month, the Eagles slipped down the ladder to finish eighth at Sylvan Road.

The side opened their day with a loss to UQ before defeating GPS and heavyweights Sunnybank in the pool stages to almost finish with a chance at winning the Cup.

It was only points difference that kept the side out of the top four at Wests, with the side joining Sunnybank and Bond on seven points after the pool stages.

Losses to Wests and Bond in the Plate finals saw the Eagles finish in eighth overall, while they now sit in seventh-place on the overall competition ladder.

9. Brothers (7 points)

The Brethren will bring seven competition plates and the Bowl back to Crosby Park after leg three of Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens.

Defeats against Easts and Bond ensured the day started poorly for the side before the defeated the ADF in the final pool game to finish in ninth.

They then continued their form, winning their finals matches against GPS and the Iconz to finish as Bowl champions.

With one tournament remaining, Brothers sit in eighth overall and will need another strong performance with the improved Northern Territory only two points behind and nipping at their heels.

10. Iconz (5 points)

The speciality side once again finished in tenth-position overall, taking home another five competition points.

After losses to Souths, Wests and the Northern Territory in the pool stages, the Iconz broke through for the first win of the day with a 24-0 victory over the ADF in the Bowl semi-final.

A loss to the Brethren in the Bowl Grand Final followed, but the experience of playing against Queensland’s best can only be positive for the side.

Head coach turned player Manuel Cole-Manolis stole the show in the play-off matches, providing an individual highlights reel that is sure to go viral. Stay tuned. 

11. GPS (5 points)

The Galloper’s once again struggled in tournament three of Queensland Premier Sevens, the side winning just one of their five games at Sylvan Road.

Defeats to Norths, champions Sunnybank and the eventual third-placed winners UQ capped Jeeps’ pool stage, before the Brethren defeated the side in the Bowl semi-final.

The side then defeated the ADF 36-12 in to finish in eleventh-place overall.

With one tournament remaining, GPS will be looking for an improved performance at Tigerland in a fortnight’s time.

12. Australian Defence Force (2 points)

The ADF’s first foray into Queensland Premier Sevens was a tough one, but the side will be much better for the experience ahead of their upcoming national championships.

Losses to Bond, Easts, Brothers, Iconz and GPS saw the side finish in twelfth-place, but the experience and improved combinations will see a much-improved side ahead of their future Sevens tournaments.

COMPETITION LADDER

1. Sunnybank – 59 
2. Souths – 50 
3. Easts – 42 
4. Bond – 39 
5. Wests – 37 
6. University of Queensland – 32 
7. Norths – 31 
8. Brothers – 25 
9. Northern Territory – 23 
10. GPS – 15 
11. Australian Barbarians* – 15
12. Iconz – 12 
13. Australian Defence Force* – 2
14. Caloundra* – 2 

*team has only played one tournament of Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens.