There was plenty on the line in club land over the weekend with tight contests kicking off in all corners of the country.
WA FORTESCUE RESCUE PREMIER GRADE
Round eight of the Premier Grade saw a few clubs show their true colours and others suffering heavy defeats.
Associates defeated their old rivals UWA claiming a 46-26 win after having control most of the match.
League leaders Cottesloe delivered a heavy loss to Southern Lions winning 83-0 with outside centre Alastair Haining scoring a hattrick.
Nedlands is starting to get their season back on track after defeating Curtin Uni by 47 points. Number eight Aidan Laxton was a standout, making him a strong contender for the coveted P.G. Hampshire Award.
In other results Wanneroo got over Perth Bayswater 52-17 at home while Wests Scarborough got the job done in Mandurah beating Coastal Cavaliers by 20 points.
In what was arguably the most exciting match of the round, Palmyra just scraped past Joondalup with a five-point win, making the battle for Finals even tighter with just four points separating third and sixth place on the ladder.
Looking ahead, the second ‘Belt Up Round’ of 2020 will see the ‘King of the North’ crown up for grabs between Wanneroo and Joondalup Brothers at Kingsway Reserve kicking off at 3:30pm AWST and live streamed on the Rugby Xplorer App and Rugby WA YouTube channel.
ACT JOHN I DENT CUP
Though it was due to be a bye week in the John I Dent Cup, ground cancellations meant the Gungahlin Eagles and Royals could go ahead and make up for their postponed matchup in round five.
In icy conditions at Portsea Oval it was the Royals who spoiled the return of Wallabies great Matt Giteau to ACT Club Rugby and outlasted the Eagles 19-10. That result leaves the Eagles languishing out of the playoffs spots and chasing the next win against Queanbeyan this weekend.
Royals and Vikings will also renew their rivalry while Wests will go against top of the ladder Uni-Norths is the Single Fin match of the round at 3:15pm AEST live on Bar TV and Brumbies Facebook.
SA COOPERS PREMIER GRADE
At the conclusion of round nine the top four have solidified their positions well ahead of the Coopers Premier Grade Finals Series.
There were some blow out games with Onkaparinga defeating Elizabeth 100-0 and Old Collegians overpowering Barossa 102-0.
In other games Brighton upset Woodville 81-12, Burnside beat Southern Suburbs 34-15 and Port Adelaide held on in a close game with Adelaide University 26-22. Brighton are currently undefeated and will take on old foes Burnside this weekend.
In the women’s games Burnside defeated Southern Suburbs 52-12, Woodville upset Brighton 55-12, Old Collegians held on over Barossa 17-5 and Adelaide University thumped Port Adelaide 93-0.
Round of the match this weekend is between Woodville and Elizabeth who have a history of big upsets. The game kicks off at 3:30pm ACST and will be streamed LIVE on Rugby SA’s Facebook and via Rugby Xplorer.
NSW SHUTE SHIELD
With a short 2020 season, the Shute Shield is now approaching the half-way mark and it’s becoming increasingly critical for teams to start finding their feet or risk missing out altogether.
Our match of the round saw the Hunter Wildfires go head-to-head with Gordon with our first TV broadcast out of Newcastle.Fans were handed another special treat with brothers Scott ‘Bubba’ Coleman and Darren ‘DC’ Coleman facing off as respective Head Coaches and although Hunter put up a fiery fight, Gordon secured a comfortable win 50-7.
In other round six matchups, 4/6 away teams defeated their opposition. Southern Districts were outplayed by a strong Randwick outfit 34-5 who also took home the Sir Roden Cutler Shield.Eastwood & Sydney University were neck and neck for much of the game however the students managed to assert their dominance to get the 36-26 victory.
West Harbour played well to secure their very first win of the season against Manly 22-19 and Warringah and Eastern Suburbs picked up points against Penrith and Northern Suburbs respectively.
Looking ahead Randwick will host Eastwood for the much-anticipated match of the round with both teams yet to grace our TV screens this season.
Randwick who are holding tight onto the lead have improved tenfold from their last few Shute Shield seasons whilst Eastwood who are a force to be reckoned with will be ready for a fight at Coogee Oval this Saturday at 3:00pm AEST. The match can be watched LIVE & FREE on 7TWO or download the 7PLUS app.
QLD HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP
Round four of the Hospital Challenge Cup saw the top teams from the opening three rounds Easts and GPS go head-to-head at David Wilson Field.
After trailing 17-10 at half-time, Easts rallied and delivered a physical defensive effort in the second half to change the momentum of the match. While flanker Tom Milosevic scored one of the sneakiest tries of the season, scrumhalf Eli Pilz was the hero of the day. Pilz amassed 20 individual points, crossed for a try whilst slotting three conversions and three penalties in windy conditions to secure the 35-29 win. This saw the side claim the Cromwell Cup and retain the Bunter Bowl in the process.
Norths Eagles donned a throwback jersey to their Brisbane Barbarians days of the 1990s and welcomed back club stalwart Nick Chapman for their clash against Wests. Chapman helped steer the Eagles to their first win of the season, with the home-side outscoring the Bulldogs six-tries-to-four in the 36-22 affair.
Sunnybank pushed reigning Premiers University of Queensland at Biggs Field, with a last minute try from former Aussie 7s star Con Foley and the resulting conversion from Kai Oates the difference in a 26-24 win.
Brothers returned to the winners’ circle as well after crossing seven tries to claim a 46-29 win over Bond University at home at Crosby Park.
Devonport continued to show their dominance in round five of the Men’s Premiership Division with a win over second place Taroona 43-22. The game has been dubbed one of the best contests in Tasmania Rugby history. Devonport came out firing with Taroona responding try for try and it wasn’t until the final minutes that the Bulls appeared as clear winners.
In other matches, Glenorchy took the points over University in a tight contest 14 -10 whilst the Hobart Lions showed dominance over Harlequins 43-27.
Launceston had a convincing win over Eastern Suburbs 62-8 and Burnie pulled away from Taroona 52-29 in another tense first half.
The women’s sides travelled to one of the most spectacular Rugby grounds in sunny Burnie where the Harelqueens swept them all out defeating Burnie, Taroona/Uni and Eastern Suburbs.
This Saturday the match of the round will see Devonport host third-placed Hobart Lions in Spreyton at 3:00pm AEST.