Club Corner: The latest and greatest on Premier Club Rugby around the country

by Loryn Ettridge

Some of the biggest arch rivals faced off over the weekend which brought big home crowds. Here’s a rundown of which Premier Club Rugby teams are thriving and diving.

ACT JOHN I DENT CUP

We witnessed another enthralling round of Rugby in the John I Dent Cup with all three games going right down to the wire. 

Wests thought they’d turned over league leaders Uni-Norths after Brodie Leber scored with a minute left on the board, however a penalty gave Owls fullback Jordan Thomson a chance to steal back the chocolates, stepping up to swipe it home 40 metres out. The full-time score at Jamison Oval 25-24. 

Royals looked dead and buried against arch rivals Vikings, but a Lincoln Smith try and a conversion from Pedro Rolando bagged the Blue Baggers a third win on the trot 29-27, leaving their earlier struggles behind them to chase back to back premierships. 

Gungahlin's lives were made a little easier thanks to their 26-16 victory over Queanbeyan.

This Saturday the Eagles will be chasing a back-to-back win against Wests in match of the round which kicks off at 3:00pm AEST at Nicholls Enclosed Oval and will be live on Bar TV & Brumbies Facebook. 

TASMANIA

The Hobart Lions hit the road over the weekend to take on top-of-the-table Devonport. The Bulls continued their dominance with a 38-8 win over the Lions.

On other grounds University hosted Taroona who took home a huge 33-5 win whilst it was a close encounter between Glenorchy and Harlequins with Glenorchy taking the points 20-11. 

The women’s division was made extra special with a Ladies Day hosted at University Rugby Club. The five 7s sides brought the heat with the combined team of Uni & Taroona stealing all three wins.

Match of the round this weekend will see Taroona take on Glenorchy at 3:00pm AEST at Rugby Park in Hobart.

Photo: Eastwood just miss the mark against Randwick in the 2020 Shute Shield. Credit: Karen Watson

NSW SHUTE SHIELD 

Fans were treated to another superb round of the Shute Shield over the weekend.

The TV match of the round saw Randwick host Eastwood at Coogee Oval where it was anticipated to be a tight contest with Randwick eager to continue their undefeated streak and Eastwood grasping for a top four spot.

It was a neck-and-neck game. Each time Randwick scored, Eastwood returned the serve. At the 70th minute Eastwood were looking like winners with a 14-point lead however the Wicks made a wicked return with two bolstering tries that left them ahead 43-41 and took the Sir Roden Cutler Shield back to TG Millner.

In another thrilling round seven match Southern Districts secured a one-point victory in the final moments against Warringah.

Northern Suburbs got a comfortable 40-26 win over the Two Blues despite artillery defence from the Western Sydney side.

Gordon have now jumped up to first on the ladder following a 24-12 win over West Harbour whilst Eastern Suburbs and Manly both picked up wins against Hunter Wildfires & Penrith respectively.

This Saturday will see the most famous battle of the beaches between rivals Manly and Warringah. This season the Marlins have the honour of hosting the Rats at Manly Oval. Fans can also catch the match live and free on 7TWO and 7PLUS from 3:00pm AEST.

SA COOPERS PREMIER GRADE

At the conclusion of round ten the big clash between Burnside and Brighton was a thriller with Burnside coming away with a 32-19 win.

Other games around the grounds saw Woodville take a convincing 80-10 win over an undermanned Elizabeth team whilst Old Collegians defeated Port Adelaide 91-7.

Onkaparinga kept Adelaide University scoreless 106-0 and Southern Suburbs bounced back to beat Barossa.

In the women’s division Southern Suburbs defeated Barossa 32-12, Onkaparinga held on in a close encounter against Adelaide University 17-12 whilst newbies Old Collegians beat Port Adelaide 37-34 and Brighton stormed home against Burnside 34-5.

This weeks’ match of the round is between Brighton and Port Adelaide on Saturday at Brighton Oval which can also be watched live from 3:30pm ACST on Rugby Xplorer and SA Rugby’s Facebook.

WA FORTESCUE RESCUE PREMIER GRADE

With just three rounds until finals the competition is well and truly heating up in the West as several clubs nailed some big wins to the scoreboard over the weekend.

Wanneroo came out victorious in the King of the North battle beating Joondalup Brothers by 18 points. This win means Joondalup drop down to fifth place while keeping Wanneroo in the finals contention.

In one of the bigger upsets of the round, Coastal Cavaliers took out Perth Bayswater by four points. Fly-half Dudley Cortland was the main driver behind the victory nailing all four of his conversions.

UWA, Wests and Cottesloe all had 50-plus point wins against their respective opponents while Associates claimed a massive win at home beating Nedlands 40-13.

Palmyra also took victory over Kalamunda winning 23-14 whilst the Bulls ran out of gas against Palmyra despite a strong first-half.

Looking ahead for round ten, match of the round will see Southern Lions take on Palmyra at Success Complex from 3:30pm AWST. Palmyra will be chasing a win to retain their fourth spot on the ladder however the Lions are known for causing big upsets late in the season. The match will be livestreamed on the RugbyWA YouTube Channel.

Photo: Brothers Rohan Saifoloi slotting a conversion in the 80th minute against Wests in the Hospital Challenge Cup. Credit: Brendan Hertal

QLD HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP

Round 5 of the Hospital Challenge Cup saw the Bunter Bowl find a new home after Bond University claimed a massive 32-22 win over Easts at Robina.

The Bull Sharks were without talismanic playmaker Mitch Third but still managed to outscore the star-studded Easts six-tries-to-three. Reds Academy scrumhalf Spencer Jeans sealed the match in the 78th minute with a late try.

In GPS’ charity round clash against Sunnybank, the Dragons pushed the Gallopers at Yoku Road with just two points separating the teams. The home side claimed a narrow 17-15 win thanks to the boot of AJ Alatimu who recently returned to Ashgrove from the wider Western Force squad.

Souths returned to action following a bye, however the young Magpies were outclassed by the Red Heavies at St.Lucia with UQ claiming a 50-14 win after crossing for eight tries in total which included a brace from young gun Mac Grealy.

In match of the round at SciFleet Stadium, Wests were the dominant side for majority of the game, holding a 47-28 lead during the second half before Brothers staged their comeback. With injuries plaguing their backline, the Brethren emptied their bench and a try from reserve centre Luan Scherman in the 72nd minute brought the visitors within reach 47-42. In the 80th minute a try from flash footed winger Nathan Carroll levelled the score at 47-all, leaving the fate of the match in the hands of Brothers flyhalf and kicker Rohan Saifoloi. Saifoloi, having already slotted six conversions from six attempts throughout the match, stepped up to the plate and slotted the conversion from out wide to secure Brothers a 49-47 win in emphatic fashion.