Around the grounds: Cooper's Souths drop out of finals race

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Quade Cooper and Souths were knocked out of the Queensland Premier Rugby finals last weekend in a 25-17 loss to Easts but the veteran playmaker was looking at the positives post-match.

Cooper had the chance to go for a penalty well within striking distance but opted instead for a cross-field kick that ultimately fell short.

The flyhalf missed another chance to take the lead late in the piece but hooked the shot and Easts held out.

Cooper was philosophical after the game, about the season and his future in rugby.

The 30-year-old will train with the Brisbane City NRC squad and at this stage it appears the mercurial playmaker will be repeating his 2018 season in 2019, playing club rugby but still contracted with Queensland.

Cooper said he wasn't thinking too much about his next step, grateful for the opportunity to mentor some of the next generation at Souths this year.

Liam Wright featured for Easts in their semi-final. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel"That's not my focus," he said.

"That's for my manager to look after that - (it's for) me to just play what's in front.

"At the moment, Souths stuff is finished now and I just go to the club with the boys and we'll see what happens with NRC and everything."

Another Test jersey appears unlikely and Cooper said he'd never refuse the chance, though Wallabies coaches have said they won't be picking anyone out of club rugby.

"I think everybody involved in rugby is always keen.," he said.

"All these boys that were in the sheds out on that field, all them would love to put a Wallaby jumper on and I'm very fortunate to be able to have done that on many occasions.

"So, if I ever got the opportunity to do that again, I'd love that."

UQ has already qualified for the grand final after beating GPS in their major semi, with GPS and Easts to battle it out for the other spot in the decider.

Reds backrowers Adam Korczyk and Angus Scott-Young featured for Uni, while halfback James Tuttle and front row twins JP and Ruan Smith packed down for the gallopers.

Hooker Andrew Ready crossed for Easts in their win over Cooper and Karmichael Hunt at Souths, while Liam Wright and Michael Gunn started in the loose forwards.

RESULTS

UQ 24 - GPS 21

Easts 25- Souths 17

DEWAR SHIELD

Esei Haangana packed down for Melbourne in a tough semi-final loss to Harlequin, with the latter straight through to the grand final.

Power House's season was ended at the hands of Moorabbin in the minor semi-final.

RESULTS

Melbourne 6 - Harlequin 20

Moorabbin 17 - Power House 5

JOHN I DENT CUP


Sam Carter's Royals are through to their third grand final in four years after a thrilling win over Tuggeranong.

There were plenty of Brumbies on the score sheet, with Andy Muirhead crossing for Royals and Jordan Jackson-Hope getting over for the Vikings and young halfback Ryan Lonergan notching a conversion.

Gungahlin toppled Ben Alexander's Uni-Norths Owls in the minor semi-final, keeping a fairytale run alive.

Alexander crossed for the Owls in the clash but it wasn't enough to keep their season simmering.

The Eagles will meet Tuggeranong in the preliminary final next weekend.

RESULTS

Gungahlin 27 - Uni-Norths Owls 17

Tuggeranong 20 - Royals 26 

SHUTE SHIELD


A host of Waratahs were back with their clubs on the weekend with the Super Rugby season done and dusted.

Easts' horde of Super Rugby squad players in Tom Staniforth, Ryan McCauley, Mack Mason, Cody Walker and Alex Newsome wasn't enough to stop a dominant Norths side that included winger Cam Clark and centre Irae Simone.

Shambeckler Vui packed down for Southern Districts against Gordon in a comfortable victory for the Rebels.

Parramatta fell just short of a miracle comeback against Manly, going down by just one point to the Marlins, whose flyhalf Sam Lane was backing up from a role with the Super Rugby Selection against the Wallabies on Friday night.

Waratahs prop Harry Johnson-Holmes had a short stint for Sydney Uni, yellow-carded after coming off the bench, while teammate Brad Wlikin started at 7 in a big win over Randwick.

RESULTS

Easts 5 - Norths 51

Gordon 33 - Souths 71

Parramatta 30 - Manly 31

Randwick 7 - Sydney Uni 45

Warringah 38 - West Harbour 16

FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE

Premiership Division 

There were some comfortable results in the Premiership Division of the Perth premier grade as the seaosn nears its pointy end.

RESULTS

Kalamunda 34 - Cottesloe 13

Joondalup 17 - Wests Scarborough 55

Associates 30 - Nedlands 0

Championship Division

George Pisi came off the bench for Southern Lions on a tough afternoon for his side against ARKs.

RESULTS

Coastal Cavaliers 7 - Palmyra 28

Wanneroo 0 - Perth Bayswater 12

Southern Lions 8 - ARKs 69