7/9/2019

NEWSTEAD BREWING CO HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP- FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED IN ROUND 15

 

Here's 'five things we learned' from Round 15 of the Newstead Brewing Co Hospital Challenge Cup. 

By Tom Primmer

1. BOND SEND A MESSAGE TO THE COMPETITION


A first-half masterclass saw Bond University overcome Souths in Round 15, with the win ensuring Bond retained the Bunter Bowl, while also pushing the Magpies out of the top-four and the Bullsharks closer to a maiden finals berth.

The Gold Coast side were simply dominant in the opening-forty, as a twenty-minute, four-try blitz delivered the side an unassailable 31-7 lead at the half-time break, before a late flurry from Souths brought the score line back to a more respectable 48-31 by the full-time siren.

Souths have dropped out of the top-four for the first time since Round 7, while Bond now sit within striking distance of a finals finish in sixth spot, just two competition points behind Easts in fourth.

The backline was again the difference for the Bullsharks, with Harry Nucifora, Mitch Third, Dan Boardman, Joey Fittock and co. continuing to stake their claim as the Hospital Challenge Cup’s most powerful attacking unit.

Third, Nucifora and Boardman all crossed for tries, while Fittock set up Frank Calugay for a five-pointer with a stunning chip and chase from within his own half.

The win was soured by an injury to another of Bond’s backline stars Corbin Kiernan, who broke his leg in his return from a three-month layoff.

Bond will look to continue their charge to the finals when they travel to the Kennel to take on Wests this weekend.

Souths have a bye round this week, before they take on Wests where they’ll aim to return to the form which saw them defeat title contenders GPS just two weeks ago.



Bond University celebrate their win over Souths. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

2. UQ MAKE IT FIVE ON THE TROT

University of Queensland came out 22-19 winners in a seesawing, muddy encounter against the Bankers at Oldmac Oval on Saturday to go one step closer to securing a finals appearance in 2019.

After the Students raced out of the blocks early with a rolling-maul try to Singcho Tamala after just two minutes, Sunnybank replied with tries to Will Feeney and Josh Walker to lead 12-7, before a solo-effort by hulking centre TJ Siakisini gave the Heavies a narrow lead at half-time.

Dragons playmakers Hayden Sargeant and Tom Lucas then combined for the side’s third try early in the second-half to put the hosts back in front, with the Bankers holding a 19-14 lead with half an hour of play remaining.

Sunnybank were again unable to hold their lead however, with returning Queensland Reds flyer Jock Campbell busting his way over the line from 20-metres out to even the ledger at 19-all in the 63rd minute.

Both sides had attacking opportunities to ice the game, but it was UQ who took theirs, with James Dalgleish stepping up to slot a penalty goal and seal the three-point win in the 71st minute.

Sunnybank had the chance to snatch a win in the dying seconds but were unable to break the Uni line as the Heavies held on for a tight three-point victory.

The win is the Student’s fifth-straight as they prepare to face ladder-leaders Brothers and GPS in the coming weeks, with the Brethren at St Lucia their next hurdle as the side looks to secure a finals berth.

The Bankers will be out to cause an upset when they face GPS at Yoku Road this weekend, with the side needing to put together a full 80-minute performance if they are to best the Gallopers.




3. EASTS CLAIM ‘MUD BOWL’ 2019

Easts defied both the elements and a courageous Wests side to secure a 24-22 win and move in to the top-four over the weekend.

With both sides facing the possibility of falling out of the finals race with a loss, it was the Tigers who came out on top in the mud of David Wilson Field, the goal-kicking of fullback Dylan Taikato-Simpson the difference in the end.

The sides traded tries in the opening half, with Wests opening the scoring through Callum Hicks after 20 minutes of play.

Easts scored next when Jack Frampton pounced on a long-range Phoenix Hunt box kick, before the Bulldogs again hit the front when Bronson Fotuali’i forced his way over to score.

The Tigers again responded, this time through Seru Uru who pierced the defence from the back of a ruck before swan-diving his way over the line to score. Taikato-Simpson converted to give the Tigers a slim 12-10 lead at half-time.

A Henry Olsen five-pointer and a second conversion from Taikato-Simpson gave the Tigers a nine-point lead, before a resurgent Wests side replied with two-tries to regain the lead in the Tigerland mud.

Jerry Lynch and Ausetalia Vaiomanu were the try-scorers for the Doggies, with strong work from the forward pack delivering the side a 22-19 advantage at the 60-minute mark.

With the rowdy Easts crowd undeterred by the poor conditions, the home side replied with a try to regain their lead, Landon Hayes scoring on the back of a crisp Rhys Jacks short ball in the 70th minute.

A 24-22 lead was enough for the Tigers, with the side holding on to secure the points and fourth-spot on the ladder with three regular season fixtures remaining.

The Doggies will host the red-hot Bond side at Sylvan Road this weekend, while Easts will again be at home in Round 16 when they clash with Norths to keep their top-four spot.


St.George Queensland Reds and Easts flanker Liam Wright enjoyed the Tigerland crowd before flying to South Africa with the Wallabies on Sunday. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.


4. GPS HOLD OFF NORTHS

GPS strengthened their hold on second-spot on the ladder in Round 15 with a tight 21-16 win over Norths at Hugh Courtney Oval.

In wet conditions at Shaw Road, the Gallopers held on for a narrow six-point win on the back of tries to Josh Collins and front-rowers Ruan Smith and Maile Ngauamo, with DP de Lange’s perfect form off the tee ensuring Jeeps left with a victory.

Nick Chapman was again in fine form for the Eagles, the versatile playmaker scoring all sixteen of the home side’s points with three penalties, a solo-runaway try and a conversion.

Chapman helped his side open up an early advantage in front of their home crowd, with his first two penalty goals giving Norths a 6-nil lead after the opening 30-minutes of play.

GPS hit back when Smith barged over for their first try, before Chapman busted the Jeeps defence on the stroke of half-time to score the Eagles only five-pointer. 

After receiving the ball 40-metres out from the try-line, Chapman dummied and stepped his way through the Galloper’s defence to score and then went on to convert his own try to give his side a 13-7 lead at the break.

The second-half belonged to GPS however, with Ngauamo pushing his way over for a try, before Josh Collins snatched an intercept and dashed away to score and give the visitors a 21-13 lead after 60-minutes.

With weather conditions worsening, Chapman slotted his third penalty to bring Norths within 21-16 in the final ten-minutes, but the Eagles were unable to break the Jeeps line as the Gallopers held on for a narrow win.

GPS will host Sunnybank at Yoku Road this weekend as they look to build momentum on their quest for consecutive titles, while Norths will face Easts at Tigerland.




5. WESTS FALL OUT OF FINALS RACE

With the battle for finals tighter than ever, this weekend’s loss seems to have doomed Wests’ 2019 season.

The Bulldogs are still a mathematical chance of making finals, but with a bye week in hand and Uni, Easts, Souths and Bond all ahead of or equal on points to the Doggies, the side is against the odds to make the top-four.

The Bulldogs sit in seventh on 29 points, with the in-form Bullsharks equal on points in sixth, while ahead of them is Souths (30), Easts (31) and UQ (35).

Big wins against Bond and Souths in their final two fixtures, and other results going their way, could deliver the side a finals berth however that result seems unlikely.

The season is not without positives for the Sylvan Road faithful however, with the emergence of young guns Carter Gordon, Isaac Henry, Hunter Paisami and Cooper Whiteside, as well as the continued strong performances of stalwarts Jerry Lynch and Liam Dillon, ensuring there is plenty to look forward to in 2020 for the Bulldogs, even if they are unable to reach the top-four this season.


Bulldogs lock Rob Puliuvea. Photo Credit: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.