The two best teams of 2017 will get their grand final showdown tomorrow, when GPS face University of Queensland at Ballymore.
Jeeps are hunting their first Hospital Cup since 1996, which currently stands as the second-longest drought in Queensland Premier Rugby, while UQ are looking to reverse last year’s result, where they fell at the final hurdle chasing their first title since 2014.
The Gallopers finished the season in second with a 12-4 record on 54 competition points, 16 behind the Red Heavies, who were minor premiers with just one loss all season.
That loss was at the hands of Jeeps in the Halley Appleby Memorial clash and the Gallopers followed that upset with another shock result in the major semi-final, forcing the Red Heavies to qualify for tomorrow's final through a preliminary final win against Sunnybank last Sunday.“We went back to simple principles this week at training but we’ll need to be a bit more ruthless this week,” University coach Mick Heenan said.
“It’s a classic matchup, they’ll come at us hard in the set piece area.
"We’re bigger and more experienced, and we’ll be very focused on physicality and set piece.”
While they have beaten their more fancied rivals twice already, GPS coach Anthony Mathison said the team must lift another level again if they are to be triumphant.“We’ve been really happy with our preparation, obviously the benefit of having the week off is extremely important,” Mathison said.
“We have confidence that our game can hold up against a side that’s clearly been the frontrunner throughout the course of the year but we’re aware that it’s a new encounter this week and realistically we have to be better than we were the last few matches.”
The match will feature several Queensland Reds, with Chris Kuridrani, in-form former Wallaby Radike Samo, Nick Frisby and James Tuttle lining up for the Gallopers.
For UQ, Sef Fa’agase anchors a strong scrum, whilst Moses Sorovi and James Dalgleish combine again in the halves.
GPS and UQ face off at Ballymore on Sunday afternoon, kicking off at 3:05pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on redsrugby.com.au.