Club Corner: NT bringing the heat for Finals whilst other states kick into gear for second half

by Loryn Ettridge

We witnessed another terrific round of Club Rugby around the country headlined by a former Wallaby in action in Queensland Premier Rugby.

FORTESCUE RESCUE PREMIER GRADE

 Round six of the Fortescue Premier Grade saw several teams come into their own.

Nedlands and Wanneroo put on a nail-biting showdown with Wanneroo winger Jordan Gratton notching up the points in the final minutes. However it wasn’t enough to claim the win, finishing on an even 24-24 score.  

UWA put on a strong performance against a red-hot Perth Bayswater side after coming away with a 24-7 win.

The Joondalup Brothers continue to dominate the competition after placing 47 points on ARKs whilst ladder leaders Cottesloe were challenged with a fresh-faced Wests Scarborough side however still managed to snag a win over the ‘Boars’.

Southern Lions claimed an easy 36-0 victory over Curtin University with former national volleyballer Sese Malai Tuifagalele continuing to wreak havoc on the field and scoring two tries in the fray.

Finally Associates delivered another solid 34-12 over Kalamunda.

Looking ahead, Associates are taking on Joondalup in a top of the table clash with the winner of this game emerging as Cottesloe’s biggest threat come finals time. The game kicks off at 3:30pm AWST at Allen Park.

Match of the round will see Wanneroo take on Southern Lions at Kingsway at 3:30pm AWST. The game will be streamed LIVE via Rugby Xplorer. 

TASMANIA

2019 Premiership winners the Devonport Bulls scored their third straight win against the Stags over the weekend proving they’re still the toughest side to beat in the comp.

Taroona held off Hobart Hutchins for a scrappy 15-5 win whilst University defeated Harlequins 30-25 in a close encounter. 

In second division Launceston had a convincing 58 – 5 win over Eastern Suburbs and have kept their spot at the top of the ladder whilst Burnie took home the cake with a 33-20 victory over Taroona. 

The women’s comp is also heating up across the state with the Tamar Valley Vixons putting on a strong fight and the Harlequeens following close behind.

DARWIN PREMIER RUGBY

Discipline was the saving grace for the Darwin Dragons over the weekend who have now secured their spot in the 2020 Grand Final after claiming a 17-14 win over the Pirates.

The 2019 Prem winners kept control for most of the match which left the Pirates struggling to gain momentum.

Over on the other field, the Cougars have cruised into the Grand Final after comfortably beating South Darwin 24-7. However the side will need to step up their game to beat a polished Dragons team this weekend. 

The big finale kicks off Saturday night at 7:30pm ACST at Rugby Park, Darwin.

JOHN I DENT CUP

While the Battle of the Birds headlined round four of the John I Dent Cup, there were three hard-fought contests across our nation's capital with teams producing some stunning rugby despite torrid conditions. 

Uni-Norths continue their unblemished start to the new season with the Owls again taking maximum points from their match up with the Gungahlin Eagles thanks to a 36-24 victory at the Nest. 

Wests backed up their impressive win over Royals in round three by turning over the Tuggeranong Vikings at Jamison Oval 28-20 with Australian Schools star Lachie Albert scoring for the Lions in what was certainly the upset of the round. 

Across state lines, the Queanbeyan Whites were competitive against the Canberra Royals however the Blue Baggers' quality ultimately shone through with the Royals winning 23-5 at Campese Oval. 

This week's match of the round will see Gungahlin host Royals with both sides chasing much-needed wins. The game kicks off at 2:05pm AEST at Nicholls Enclosed Oval and the game will also be streamed LIVE via the Brumbies Facebook and Bar TV.

COOPERS PREMIER GRADE        

South Australian Rugby has reached the halfway point for their season and it’s a tight content between the top five teams.

Last weekends’ match of the round saw Port Adelaide and Woodville battle it out for the Tom Pryor Cup. Port Adelaide once again delivered the goods thumping Woodville 35-9.

Across town, Old Collegians and Adelaide University went head-to-head in the Gordon & Peter Allen Shield. Old Collegians clearly weren’t prepared to let go of the silverware and finished with a 78-12 win.

Over on other grounds Burnsides claimed a narrow 27-20 win over Onkaparinga and Southern Suburbs scored a convincing 69-5 win over Elizabeth.

In the women’s comp, Woodville won 62-10 against Port Adelaide and Burnside defeated Onkaparinga 39-17.

This weekend’s game in the spotlight is between Southern Suburbs and Onkaparinga from 3:30pm ACST at Bailey Reserve. The game will also be streamed LIVE on Rugby SA’s Facebook and via Rugby Xplorer.

SHUTE SHIELD

Following round four of the Shute Shield five teams remain undefeated with defending champs Sydney University jumping back up to the top of the ladder following a 41-3 thumping over Penrith.

The Pirates struggled to put a single point on the scoreboard against West Harbour who showed off several Aussie 7s stars including Dylan Pietsch and Triston Riley.

Eastwood claimed a 20-17 victory over Easts at home whilst Wildfires and Manly came out with a 29-29 draw.

Southern Districts dominated the match and claimed a 37-25 win over Western Sydney Two Blues whilst Gordon teared up the field to score a 52-7 win over Warringah.

This weekends’ match of the round will be played out between Sydney University and Souths and Southern Districts at 2:00pm AEST which can be watched LIVE & FREE on 7TWO or download the 7PLUS app.

HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP

Round 2 of the Hospital Challenge Cup saw one of Australian Rugby Union’s most decorated half-backs make his return to club Rugby with Will Genia pulling on the boots for GPS. Genia first played for the Gallopers as a colt back in 2006, and relished the chance to play alongside his brother Nigel and help the club secure a 59-14 win over Souths.

Ben Mowen’s Easts Tigers traveled to Sci-Fleet Stadium and claimed a 32-17 win over Wests, whilst Brothers were convincing in a 33-12 win over Norths in the north-side derby 

The match of the round saw Bond University host Sunnybank at ‘The Cannal’ and the match went down to the wire. After trailing 25-13 in the 65th minute, a late surge from the home side saw the Bull Sharks attack come to life. Tries from Connor Pritchard, Ryan Menzies and Max Dowd put the home-side ahead 34-25, but a late converted try to Tom Lucas, followed by a penalty put Sunnybank ahead by one-point 35-34. Just when it looked like the Dragons would close out the match, in the 79th minute the visitors conceded a penalty in the middle of the field, about 38 metres from their try line, and Bond flyhalf Mitch Third stepped up to calmly slot the penalty, securing a 37-35 win.