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Queensland Premier Rugby Round 1 Match Reports
Souths and Sunnybank to share Damien Drew Shield for 2017
The Damien Drew shield will be shared this year after Souths and Sunnybank were locked at 29 a-piece after full time in their Queensland Premier Rugby Round 1 match.
Souths were looking to avenge their semi-finals loss of last season against the Dragons, but would have to settle for a bonus-point draw this time round.
With the momentum continuously swinging from team-to-team, both sides missed chances to win the game.
Ill-discipline cost Souths in the end as the team were reduced to 13-men at one point, resulting from back-to-back yellow cards.
Coach Elia Tuqiri was pleased with the effort of the team coming out with the draw after being down by two men.
“We made it hard for ourselves, but I was really pleased that with 13 players on, we managed to secure a draw,” Tuqiri said
Sunnybank raced off to a quick start with lock David Findlay-Henaway scoring in the conner early in the first half.
Souths then gained the ascendancy after that, crossing the line twice, taking a 15-12 lead into half-time.
The second half started as an arm wrestle until Souths received two yellow cards to frontrowers Maile Ngauamo and Paulo Leleisiuao in quick succession.
Sunnybank capitalised on their advantage, carrying a 29-22 lead into the final stages of the game.
Souths tied the game late through a try from reserve winger Loveni Enari in the corner, which Keeghan Sefton converted.
Souths Captain Paul Brown was happy with the team hanging in the game with 13-men and praised Sunnybank as tough opponents.
“It speaks volumes of this team to hang in there and fight back being down on the scoreboard. Sunnybank are a really good side, it’s going to be a really interesting competition this year,” Brown said.
The match saw St.George Queensland Reds backrower Caleb Timu return from an ACL injury, coming off the bench to debut for his new club Souths.
(Keeghan Sefton, Mike Tafili, Scott Maloloua, Loveni Enari tries; Keeghan Sefton 3 cons 1 pen) tie
(David Findlay-Henaway, Jeoy Fittock, Moli Sooaemalelagi, Brendan Mitchell, Conrad Quick tries; Jake Strachan cons 3)
UQ Run in Nine Tries at Scifleet Stadium
University of Queensland got their season off to a flying start with a 57-17 victory over Wests Bulldogs in Round 1.
The Red Heavies looked comfortable at Wests' newly renovated Scifleet Stadium as scrumhalf Scott Gale claimed the True Protein High Performer of the Round.
UQ took no time finding their feet, putting pressure on the Bulldogs and forcing the home side to kick for field position.
Gale’s service from the base off the ruck gave the Heavies’ backline quick ball and the visitors edged forward early before Pat Morrey scored.
The Bulldogs launched a number of counter attacks but UQ’s back three communicated well in defence to stop them from scoring.
UQ continued to dominate the early exchanges as Sam Wallis and James McColl added another two tries before Wests’ scrumhalf Liam Dillon opened the Bulldogs account.
With half time looming Nathan Russell dotted down to extend UQ’s lead but the Bulldogs quickly responded.
With UQ pinned on their try line, the home side strung a gruelling ten phases together that eventually led to Shai Wiperi crossing in the corner.
UQ’s speed saw them run over the top of the Bulldogs in the second-half while the home side was forced to play a man down after their flyhalf Richard Aitsi was handed a yellow card for an intentional knock on.
A second-half double to number eight Jack Cornelsen was complimented by further tries to Russell, Campbell Wakely and reserve winger Clifton Setu.
Wests managed just the one second-half try as reserve Sione Na’a Helu crossed the chalk.
This weekend UQ will host Souths at St Lucia, while Wests will head to Jack Ross Oval to face Brothers.
University of Queensland 57
(Jack Cornelsen, Nathan Russell 2 tries, Campbell Wakely Lyall Fidow, Jame McColl Samuel Wallis, Clifton Setu tries James Dalgleish 6 cons) d
(Liam Dillon, Shei Wiperi, Sione Na’a Helu tries Byron Hutchinson con)
The Champions Become the Hunted at Tigerland
East Tigers upset 2016 champions Brothers with a 28-19 Round 1 victory at David Wilson Field on Saturday.
The Tigers forward pack proved too strong and capitalized off the back of a dominant scrum and line-out throughout the game.
Forcing numerous penalties throughout the match, Easts’ scrum earned them points at different stages, while the momentum the forward pack gained laid the foundation for the backline to showcase some entertaining and expansive Rugby.
After a physical opening exchange, Brothers led Easts 19-17 at half-time, but the Tigers defence held strong in the second half to deny the Brethren any more points.
After the half, Easts were first to score with a penalty goal off the back of a scrum, before new recruit Navi Tiko nailed a drop goal to extend the home side’s lead.
With territorial pressure mounting, hulking reserve lock Mitch Schneider crossed for a five pointer following an uncharacteristic error from Brothers deep in their territory.
This placed the lead outside of a converted try and Easts defended well to hold off the champions.
A late inclusion to the game was Queensland U20’s halfback Eli Pilz who was rushed from Wests Rugby Club to Tigerland following his game against NSW U20’s earlier that afternoon.
His kicking and running game proved to be decisive for Easts late in the second half leading Easts lock Tyrell Barker to say:
“Good commitment, to have just played for Queensland and then drive across town to play for us, a lot of guys probably wouldn’t have done that. They would have just come over and watched,” he said.
The Tigers will recuperate this weekend having been gifted the bye while Brothers will host West Bulldogs at Jack Ross Oval.
(Richie Asiata, Toby White, Mitchell Schneider tries Tim Smith 2 pens 2 cons Navi Tiko dropped goal) defeated
(Criff Tupou, Mitch Felsman Will Shipperley tries Mitch Felsman 2 cons)
Bond Upset Norths Away From Home
Bond University secured a 20-5 victory over Norths in their Round 1 Queensland Premier Rugby encounter at Hugh Courtney Oval.
Bond crossed for three first-half tries to lead by 15 points at half-time before a scoreless second stanza ensured the visitors would head home with the win.
The visitors relatively new-look side had Norths playing catch-up Rugby from the get go and any hopes of a Norths’ comeback were spoiled by poor execution.
Early in the match, Norths gifted their opponents an early penalty goal opportunity, but Bond flyhalf Vitori Buatava’s attempt hit the left-hand upright.
Moments later, Bond were awarded another penalty but opted for the corner as St.George Queensland Reds lock Cadeyrn Neville secured the lineout ball and set for a rolling maul.
Feeding the ball back to Reds’ teammate Alex Mafi, the hooker fell over the tryline and Buatava made no mistake with the conversion.
Norths looked like returning serve when new recruit Che Marion-Falafi sliced through but support player Nick Chapman lost the ball in contact as Bond scrambled well.
The Eagles earnt back attacking field positon and Apisai Naiyabo opened the home side’s account with a pick and drive play to reduce the deficit to two points.
Buatava’s long-range drop goal extended the visitors lead before the flyhalf further added to his personal points tally, finishing off some good work by his forward pack.
Number eight Tai Ford broke through off the back of a scrum, kept the ball alive with an offload before Neville replicated with a similar carry, dishing to Buatava who raced in for a try.
With the first-half clock winding down, the visitors sucked in Norths’ defence with a rolling maul and switched the ball back to the blind side for Neville to score in the corner.
The conversion sailed wide as Bond claimed a 20-5 half-time lead.
After the break, Chapman attempted a long-range penalty goal but the scrumhalf pushed his attempt wide.
Bond exited with a drop out and Norths’ replacement Elia Power made a damaging run returning the ball with gusto, but the Eagles handling let them down as Bond scrambled in defence.
Late in the match, the Eagles were forced to play with a man down when Shane Tasi was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle.
Bond failed to capitalise on the extra man, despite having Norths pinned inside their own half.
This weekend Bond return home to the Gold Coast to host GPS who will kick their season off after being dealt the Round 1 bye, while Norths travel to Oldmac Oval to face Sunnybank.
Bond University 20
(Alex Mafi, Cadeyrn Neville, Vitori Buatava tries Vitori Buatava 1 pen, 1 con) defeated
(Apisai Naiyabo try)
Queensland Country Heelers squads named for Wednesday night Rugby
28 JUNE 2017