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1. Smith graces the grassroots
St.George Queensland Reds flanker and 111 Cap Wallaby George Smith made his return to play for Brothers on the weekend, after spending the 2018 so far in team rehab after suffering a back injury in December. Smith came off the bench for the Brethren at half-time, with his team trailing home-side Easts 20-7. Easts got out to a 32-7 lead for Brothers staged a resurgence in the final 15-minutes of the match. It wasn’t enough to topple the Tigers however, with Easts claiming a 39-31 win in front of a sizeable crowd on their ‘Old Boys Day’.
Happy to be back on the Rugby field. Photo: QRU Media - Brendan Hertel
2. The Bunter Bowl makes it’s first trip down the M1
Bond University became the first team since Souths in Round 1 of the 2016 season to claim a win over the University of Queensland side at home at St.Lucia, claiming the ‘The Bunter Bowl’ in the process. Bond had the better of UQ from the outset, edging their way to a 17-nil lead, with tries from Dan Boardman and Calum Ball, while the boot of Harry Nucifora kept the scoreboard ticking over with two successful conversions and a penalty. The Red Heavies bounced back with tries from James Dalgleish and Scott Gale before half-time, but a further penalty from Nucifora saw Bond hold a 20-14 lead. A try from UQ Number 8 Sam Wallis late in the match put the Red Heavies within one-point of Bond, 20-19, but the missed conversion left the visitors in the lead and they wound down the clock to claim their first win of the season and the Bunter Bowl.
3. Sunnybank five try second half haul brings the Gallopers to a halt
Sporting new look Ronald McDonald Charity kit in the Round 3 ‘Match of the Round’, GPS carried a narrow 7-3 lead over Sunnybank heading into half-time. A further penalty and a converted try to prop Fred Burke saw GPS edge out to a 17-3 lead, before the Dragons turned the game on its head. The Sunnybank forwards lead the resurgence, scoring two pick-and-drive tries before blindside flanker Alex Halvorsen bounced on a loose ball to score a runaway try from 75 metres out. GPS narrowed the margin to 25-24 with a penalty try through their scrum, but the Dragons answered back with a try through a line-out maul. A final try from Australian Sevens representative Josh Coward put the nail in the coffin, the Dragons claiming a 35-24 win.
4. Ngamunu’s hat-trick crucial for Magpies in ‘Battle of the Birds’
St.George Queensland Reds squad member Jaydn Ngamanu crossed for a hat-trick in the Magpies’ eight-tries-to-four win over Norths, all three tries were scored in the left-hand corner during the first half. Conor Chittenden was impressive for the home-side, scoring himself from a chip-and-chase effort, while also setting up Kyran Tanuvasa’s try with a brilliant off-load. Paia’aua made a break from inside his own 22m during the second half, putting away winger Jordan Luke down the left-hand touch line for a try.
5. Competition wide open three rounds in
Three rounds into Queensland Premier Rugby and currently no one-side has put their hands up as clear front runners. Sunnybank currently sit on top of the ladder following their win over GPS, however they drew with ninth placed Norths in Round 1. Souths currently boast the best record with two wins from two matches and a for and against of 33+. Bond are shaping up as the dark horse of 2018, building from narrow losses to Wests and GPS to topple University at St.Lucia, while Easts also put in their most polished performance to date in their clash against Brothers. With 15 regular rounds to go before finals, it’s hard to get an early steer as to who will be finals contenders.
Sunnybank sit on top of the ladder after Round 3. Photo: QRU Media - Brendan Hertel
16 FEBRUARY 2019