Club Corner: NT Finals kick off, Owls look to maintain lead in John I Dent Cup

John I Dent Cup
by Nick Wasiliev

Welcome to Club Corner, our weekly series where we preview the upcoming weekend of Australia’s premier club competitions.

Darwin - Darwin First Grade Semi-Finals

We start this weekend with our first club finals of the year, taking place in the Top End. Casuarina earnt themselves a home semi final last week with a 29-27 victory over South Darwin, and will be looking to repeat this again this weekend.

The other fixture sees favourites University host the Darwin Dragons. University are still to drop a game this year, but with finals footy, all bets are off and anything can happen!

Semi Final Fixtures:

University v Darwin Dragons

Casuarina v South Darwin

Brisbane - Hospital Challenge Cup Round 2

 

 

Round 1 of the Hospital Challenge Cup served up some fantastic displays of running rugby, with attacking flair the order of the day. This was especially the case in the GPS-Wests clash, which saw over a hundred points scored between the two sides.

This weekend will see Bond University enter the fray, as well as several clashes between teams looking to build momentum during this short season.

RUGBYcomau Match of the Round:

Wests vs. Easts - Our pick for the match of the round is shaping up to be a beauty, as two of the most exciting teams from round 1 do battle. The Tigers kicked off their season with a fantastic victory away from home, putting fifty on Sunnybank.

This week they'll come up against a Bulldogs side that pushed last year's semi finalists GPS all the way last week, and while they didn't grab the win, still looked like a formidable outfit.

Other Fixtures:

Brothers vs. Norths

Bond University vs. Sunnybank

GPS vs. Souths

BYE – University of Queensland

You can watch these games live on Rugby Xplorer.

Sydney - Shute Shield Round 4

The Shute Shield is set to continue this weekend, following a critical round of rugby that saw several teams emerge as contenders over the previous weekend. Norths managed an important win away at Manly Oval, which sees them competing with the Students for top of the table, while Warringah also started to hit their stride.

Another encouraging result was the close match that Penrith had against Southern Districts. While the Emus went down 14-29, it was a performance that bodes well for the men from the mountains. This weekend will see several teams look to notch up critical wins, especially with current leaders Norths having their bye this week.

RUGBYcomau Match of the Round:

Gordon vs Warringah - Highlanders fans, get down to Chatswood Oval this weekend. Gordon have been consistently improving week after week, and this weekend Darren Coleman will want to make a statement against his old team, one of the stronger sides in the competition.

The Rats looked to finally hit their stride last week with a win over Eastern Suburbs, but if they expect this match will be an easy win, they'll be in for a long afternoon.

Other Fixtures:

Southern Districts v Western Sydney

Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood

Manly v Newcastle Sydney University v Penrith

West Harbour v Randwick

BYE - Northern Suburbs

The Gordon - Warringah clash will be live on 7TWO, with coverage starting from 3pm this Saturday. 

 

 

Canberra - John I Dent Cup Round 4

The Uni-Norths Owls continue to be the pace setters in the John I Dent Cup, having not dropped a game in the first three rounds of competition.

All the teams are currently playing fantastic rugby, with close matches being decided by a try or less an increasingly common event. This increased competitiveness has certainly impacted the Royals, who are still without a win going into round four.

RUGBYcomau Match of the Round:

Uni-Norths Owls vs Gungahlin Eagles - These two sides were the big improvers last year, both crashing out in the semi-finals. They have continued this form this year, and while the Eagles have had less success so far, a win here would be invaluable for their finals chances, and they are definitely capable of pulling it off.

The Owls have been still maintaining incredible performances though and deserve their current top placing, so will take a lot of confidence if that they can continue that here.

Other Fixtures:

Queanbeyan v Canberra Royals

Wests v Tuggeranong

Head to the John I Dent Cup Facebook page for their live stream of the all the matches of this round, kicking off at 3pm.

Perth - Fortescue Premier Grade Round 6

Last round of the Fortescue Premier Grade saw several teams notch their first wins of the season. The two key match ups of the round were even more surprising however, with Cottlesloe demolishing UWA and Joondalup taking a valuable win over Nedlands.

This weekend is sure to serve up some interesting results, especially as some of the victories of the higher teams may give lower teams some confidence they can deliver an upset or two.

RUGBYcomau Match of the Round:

UWA v Perth Bayswater - UWA would be very disappointed with their loss last week against Cottlesloe, so will be looking to make amends and get themselves back into finals contention.

Perth are still on a high following several wins, including over Curtin Uni last week. They'll sense a great opportunity to do the same here, as they have a long way to go to contest the finals.

Other Fixtures:

Palmyra v Coastal Cavaliers

Nedlands v Wanneroo

Southern Lions v Curtin Uni

Associates v Kalamunda

Wests Scarborough v Cottlesloe

Joondalup v ARKs

You can watch the selected match of the round (Palmyra v Cavaliers) on Rugby Xplorer.

Adelaide - Coopers Premier Grade Round 7

The Coopers Premier Grade hits the halfway point of the season this weekend, and while the likes of Burnside, Onkaparinga and Old Collegians are making a good challenge for the title, Brighton look to be the team to beat so far in 2020.

While plenty can still happen, their dominance in most of their games this year and a five point buffer at the top of the ladder already suggests they're in a great position, and may be ready to lock in that minor premier placing.

Fixtures:

Barossa v Brighton

Old Collegians v Adelaide University

Burnside v Onkaparinga

Southern Suburbs v Elizabeth

Port Adelaide v Woodville

You can watch a live stream of a selected match of the round (Port Adelaide v Woodville) on Rugby SA’s Facebook page.

 

Hobart - Tasmania Premier Grade Round 3

Round three of Tassie's rugby competition sees several teams already pushing for dominance, with Devonport putting the entire competition on watch after dispatching Harlequins, while the Stags pulled an important win over the Penguins.

Fixtures:

Hobart Harlequins v University of Tasmania

Glenorchy v Devonport

Taroona v Hobart Lions

We hope you enjoy your club rugby this weekend, wherever you are!

Unfortunately Premier Rugby in Victoria is still postponed.