Top teams felt the pressure over the weekend with a few big defeats across the country keeping fans on the edge of their seats.
ACT JOHN I DENT CUP
The John I Dent Cup has been turned on its head once again after stunning round eight results – in particular the Tuggeranong Vikings destruction of Wests.
Tuggies simply embarrassed the Lions on their Old Boys day at Viking Park, the now league leaders running in 11 tries to win 71-29.
Gungahlin Eagles have been hanging in the balance over the past few weeks however have managed to obtain crucial results. On Saturday Marco Caputo's side finally produced the rugby many were hoping for with Matt Giteau pulling the strings, the Eagles outclassed the Uni-Norths Owls 33-21.
Queanbeyan were also determined to notch their second win of the season, however defending champs the Royals denied it finishing 27 even.
Royals will be in action in the Single Fin match of the round this week, taking on Wests LIVE on Bar TV from Phillip Oval at 3:15pm AEST.
QUEENSLAND HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP
Round seven of the Allsports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup saw the University of Queensland cement their place at the top of the ladder after securing a 36-31 win over Brothers in a 2019 Grand Final replay at Crosby Park.
It had been just over 12 months since the two clubs clashed and Brothers put up a good fight against the reigning premiers. Both sides scored five tries a piece with outside centre Hudson Creighton scoring a brace for Brothers. However it was Kye Oates who proved the difference for the Red Heavies, scoring two tries whilst slotting four conversions and a penalty to amass 21 individual points in the match. Oates was named the VPA high performer of the match.
Easts Tigers sit just one point behind the students on the ladder and continued their impressive run with a 57-26 win over close rivals Souths. Winger Dylan Taikato-Simpson crossed for a hat-trick in a nine-try display at Chipsy Wood Oval.
In the clash between Norths and GPS at Hugh Courtney Oval the Eagles hung in the contest for the majority of the match, however two late tries to Gallopers flyer Josh Collins saw him claim a hat-trick for the afternoon and blowing out the final score to 47-10. AJ Alatimu delivered an impressive performance with the boot, slotting six from a possible sevens conversions.
Bond University remain third on the ladder, tied for points with Easts, following another dominant display on the road against Wests at SciFleet Stadium.
The Bull Sharks outscored the Bulldogs seven-to-three, with Devon Henson crossing for a brace for the visitors in a 39-19 win.
Round 8 will see the competition celebrate mental health round, with Easts and Sunnybank set to contest the Rick Tyrrell Cup in match of the round.
WA FORTESCUE RESCUE PREMIER GRADE
The door for finals has swung wide open after the two top clubs absorbed a defeat in round 11 of the WA Fortescue Premier Grade.
League leaders Cottesloe let go of their winning streak after falling to Nedlands 20-17 over the weekend. Second-rower Sam Offer was a key factor in the upset, setting up two tries for the home side.
Associates came agonisingly close to keeping their winners title however Wests stole the show winning by a single point. It was the younger players who stood up to the plate for the ‘Boars’ to drive their side to the 28-27 score line.
These losses push Palmyra up to third place after their dominant 21-point victory over Perth Bayswater. The ‘Numbats’ ran onto the field in bright pink to show support for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Joondalup got over UWA in a do-or-die clash up at HBF Arena where the Brothers mounted a classy comeback after halftime to keep their finals hopes alive. Both sides donned Black and Gold socks for RugbyWA’s Mental Health Round which raises awareness for the R U Okay Foundation.
On other fields the Coastal Cavaliers and Kalamunda notched two easy wins whilst Wanneroo and ARKs couldn’t separate the scores ending on 50-50.
Looking ahead for round 12 the hammer is about to drop. Joondalup will need to defeat Cottesloe to keep their toes in the finals pool whilst Associates will be defending their top two spot against the Coastal Cavaliers. I
n this week’s match of the round Nedlands host Wests Scarborough in a battle for the final fourth spot. With both sides coming off huge wins this match could go either way and will livestreamed on RugbyWA YouTube and website from 3:30pm AWST.
NSW SHUTE SHIELD
There are just four weeks remaining in the regular season following another huge round of Rugby.
The top five teams are starting to split from the rest and if their winning streaks continue, Gordon will be in line to take out the Minor Premiership.
Northern Suburbs are finding top form after downing Randwick 46-17 who have now lost three on the bounce. The Shoreman have catapulted themselves to second on the ladder after just one loss this season.
Eastern Suburbs welcomed back a number of NSW Waratahs including Lalakai Foketi, Tom Staniforth and Alex Newsome to host Sydney University under the lights at Woollahra. The game was heading down to the wire, until Newsome showed off his class scoring a try in the corner and handing the Beasties a huge 22-14 win to reclaim their spot in the top six.
Gordon came firing out of the starting blocks. The 2020 favourites were in control throughout the contest despite a strong Southern Districts forward pack putting them under scrum pressure. The game finished 56-21.
It was a similar story for Eastwood who claimed a 45-27 win over Manly after leading from the onset.
Out west, there was a to-and-fro contest between Penrith and West Harbour with the away side churning out the 29-38 victory after capitalising on yellow cards for the Emus.
Hunter Wildfires travelled to Lidcombe Oval and claimed their first victory of 2020 with a 13-point win over the Two Blues.
This weekend’s match of the round sees Sydney University (4) host Randwick (5) at Uni HQ. With a long history of gritty battles, Saturdays’ game is shaping up to be an interesting contest as a loss to the Students could see them slip out of the top six. Fans can watch all the action LIVE & FREE on 7TWO + 7PLUS from 3:00pm AEST this Saturday.
In other Round 10 fixtures we’ll see a mighty north shore battle between Gordon and Northern Suburbs whilst Manly host Eastern Suburbs, Southern Districts go head-to-head with Hunter Wildfires, Eastwood play Penrith and Warringah take on Two Blues at Rat Park.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA COOPERS PREMIER GRADE
With two rounds to go the top four teams in Premier Grade 1 and 2 have now been determined.
Round 12 saw Brighton defeat Southern Suburbs 12-0, Old Collegians were too dominant for Onkaparinga winning 31-5, Adelaide University celebrated their Indigenous Round whilst defeating Barossa 27-15, Burnside remained strong against Woodville 49-5 and Port Adelaide brought home a long awaited win against Elizabet 43-11.
In the women’s competition, Brighton were too strong for Southern Suburbs 43-17, Woodville had a triumphant win over Burnside 19-12 and Adelaide University proved too good for Barossa cruising home to win 54-7.
This weeks’ match of the round will be a cracker battle between Brighton and Old Collegians at Brighton Oval from 4:50pm ACST.
TASMANIA PREMIER GRADE
Friday night football returned to Tasmania with the Hobart Lions taking on Taroona Penguins.
It was a tight low scoring affair under wet conditions with Hobart prevailing 8-5.
Devoport continued their dominance with a 48 to 14 win over Glenorchy whilst Harlequins were too strong for University settling at 31-12.
This weekends’ match of the round is between archrivals Harlequins and Taroona in another Friday night clash under lights at 7:00pm AEST.
In the Championship division there was a top of the table clash with Launceston hosting Burnie and proving too strong with a 41-0 win. Taroona also took the win over Eastern Suburbs 45-22. The Taroona/University team continue to make a late run in the women’s competition after winning all three games again. This week the women head into the last round before finals.