Around the Grounds: GPS into QLD Premier Rugby final

by Staff Writer

With the long slog of the regular season in the rear view mirror, it's finals time.

Here's how all the club rugby from around the country panned out at the weekend.

QUEENSLAND PREMIER RUGBY

GPS, guided by James Tuttle, Radike Samo, Chris Kuridrani and Nick Frisby, beat minor premiers University of Queensland on Sunday to earn their first grand final berth since 2013.

The Gallopers, who haven't claimed the Hospital Cup since 1996, beat the competition favourites 42-24, with Samo scoring the sealer in a man-of-the-match performance.

University had Angus Scott-Young and Moses Sorovi lining up in their starting XV but they were no match for the Gallopers, who were the only team to beat the Red Heavies in the regular season as well.

Chris Kuridrani was one of four Reds that lined up for GPS. Photo: QRU Media/Meggie WhitchurchUni will face Sunnybank on Sunday in the preliminary final, after the Dragons scored after the siren to beat Wests in the minor semi-final.

The Bulldogs led for 80 minutes but repeated scrum penalties on their own line led to the match winner for Sunnybank, who will consider themselves lucky to be alive.

Isaac Lucas starred for the Dragons and was awarded best on ground honours post match, Larry Hermens crossing twice for Wests, who had Lachlan Maranta start at outside centre.

JOHN I DENT CUP

The Canberra Royals have progressed through to the John I Dent Cup grand final, after hanging on to beat Tuggeranong 32-26 on Saturday at Viking Park, despite a scoreless second half.

With two men in the bin just after half-time, the Royals conceded 19 consecutive points to have a 25-point margin whittled down to just six, putting their undefeated 2017 record in a precarious spot.

The Vikings looked like they may snatch it as they went the length of the field after the siren, but couldn’t notch the winning score.

There were plenty of Brumbies in action, including Tom Staniforth, Tom Cusack and Andrew Muirhead for the Royals, and Jordan Jackson-Hope for Tuggeranong.

Tuggeranong will meet Wests in next weekend’s preliminary final, after the latter shocked Queanbeyan with a 24-8 win in the minor semi-final.

The Lions had failed to beat Queanbeyan in four attempts this season, but 14 points from recently released ACT Brumbies playmaker Nick Jooste helped them keep their season alive.

The Vikings and Wests have played twice this season, both winning once.

DEWAR SHIELD

Harlequins were too good for Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Harlequins Rugby FacebookHarlequins are the first team through to the Dewar Shield grand final, after a 31-24 win over Melbourne Unicorns.

Box Hill kept its decider hopes alive with a 30-17 win over Footscray.

The Broncos will take on the Unicorns for the right to play Harlequin in the final.

 

SHUTE SHIELD

Manly might be the minor premiers but they will take some mixed form into finals, after a 62-52 loss to West Harbour in the final regular round.

NSW flyer Taqele Naiyaravoro’s game-sealing try helped the Pirates to their seventh-straight win, falling just short of a finals berth.

Waratas hooker Hugh Roach was influential as Eastwood leapfrogged into finals with a 64-7 win over Penrith.

Souths knocked Randwick out of second, with Waratahs backrower Jed Holloway leading the way in a four-point win over the Galloping Greens, their ninth consecutive victory.

Waratahs David Horwitz and Andrew Kellaway lined up for the home side, but they couldn’t hang on against the Rebels.

The involvement of NSW winger Cam Clark and Waratahs backrower Michael Wells wasn’t enough for Norths to secure third spot, going down to Warringah, who featured two of this year’s NSW rookies in Maclean Jones and Harry Jones.

Rebels fullback Jack Maddocks and his former U20s teammate, flyhalf Mack Mason (17 points), made their mark as Easts finished 2017 on a high with a 47-19 win over Gordon.

Wallabies squad member Jack Desmpey came off the bench to score a try for the Highlanders.

Waratahs lock Dave McDuling led Sydney University to a 80-31 thumping of Parramatta, but it was little consolation for the Students, set to miss the finals for the first time since 1997.

PINDAN PREMIER GRADE

Associates hoist the Rugby WA Cup. Photo: Associates Rugby FacebookAssociates’ 30-25 win away at minor premiers Palmyra saw them lock up fourth spot on the ladder, booking a rematch next week against the same opposition for the right to play in the Grand Final.

The winner of that fixture will play the winner of Wests Scarborough and Nedlands, who finished third with a 46-10 destruction of Wanneroo.

The Western Force’s James Verity-Amm’s two tries aided in the 36-point win.

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