Club Corner: Big grins and wins in Premier Grade Rugby around the country

by Loryn Ettridge

Premier Grade teams laid out all their cards over the weekend as regular fixtures wrapped up in most states ahead of finals.

SA COOPERS PREMIER GRADE

Rugby Union SA has wrapped up their regular fixtures with some big wins across the state.

Brighton added more silverware to their cabinet following a 59-29 win over Onkaparinga. The side took home the Tamaki Cup for Minor Round Premiers and the Uncle George Shield. 

Old Collegians held on in a closely contested game against Burnside to win 19-12 whilst Adelaide University continued their strong run defeating Woodville 37-32.

The return of the Army boys helped Elizabeth with their 31-0 win over Barossa and Southern Suburbs proved to good during Tim Mattins 500th club game for Port Adelaide, winning 55-17.

In the women’s competition, Port Adelaide secured their first win of the season defeating Southern Suburbs 43-22. Burnside also defeated Old Collegians 10-7, Onkaparinga got the win over Brighton 53-12 and Adelaide University continued their winning streak over Woodville 40-15.

The finals campaign for Premier Club Rugby resumes Saturday October 10.

TASMANIA

Teams turned up the heat in Tasmania for the final fixture of the regular season.

Devonport Bulls finished the season as minor premiers with a faultless 10 from 10 games. The Bulls topped Taroona 24-20 over the weekend and will no doubt keep charging all the way to Finals.

Harlequins were chasing a win over Hobart Lions to secure their Finals spot however the Lions proved too strong and came away with a 28-17 victory.

It’s also given Glenorchy Staggs a chance to jump into the finals following a win over University 30-15. 

This weekend Devonport will host Taroona at 3:00pm at Meercroft Park with the winner going straight into the Grand Final whilst Hobart Lions host Glenorchy Staggs at 3:00pm at Rugby Park.

In the Championship Division, Launceston continued their undefeated season with a win over Taroona 46-7. Eastern Suburbs were forced to forfeit their match to Burnie Emus. 

The women’s sides took a break ahead of their Grand Final kicking off this Saturday from 2:40pm at Rugby Park.

ACT JOHN I DENT CUP

The Gungahlin Eagles just managed to sneak into Finals after dismantling Royals 62-0 in round 10 of the John I Dent Cup. Bolstered by the return of Brumbies trio Tom Ross, Issak Fines and Mack Hansen, the Eagles played some stunning rugby led by Wallabies great Matt Giteau. 

The Eagles bonus-point victory means they'll take on Tuggeranong in the semi-finals and the Vikings finished the regular season as minor-premiers thanks to their dominant 49-12 win over second place Uni-Norths. 

Wests did everything they could to push for a playoff berth however their 45-7 victory over Queanbeyan wasn’t enough to secure a top-four finish. 

The John I Dent Cup now braces for straight-knockout finals which all kicks off in two weeks’ time on October 10.

NSW SHUTE SHIELD

Rivals Gordon and Norths are battling it out for the minor premiership, while Southern Districts are still clinging onto hopes of at a top six finish.

Northern Suburbs came up against a gutsy Rebels side who once again showed off their forward pack strength at scrum time. However it was the Shoremen who had the lethal touch with a 35-17 win at a breezy Pittwater Rugby Park.

Manly jump started to an 8-0 lead over Randwick at Coogee Oval. However it wasn’t long before Randwick turned the tide with four unanswered tries to finish as comfortable 34-15 winners.

Sydney University put early pressure on ladder leaders Gordon taking a 19-7 lead. Gordon then came firing back to secure four converted tries and a 34-24 win which keeps them atop the Shute Shield ladder.

On other fields, teams were running rampant with Eastern Suburbs, West Harbour and Warringah all notching up 50 points or over.

The Pirates ransacked the Two Blues and claimed a 50-15 win whilst the Eastern Suburbs strolled out to take a 56-19 win over the Emu’s.

This weekends’ match of the round sees Sydney University tackle Northern Suburbs. The Students need the win in order to keep their finals hopes alive. Fans can catch all the action this Saturday LIVE 7FLIX from 3:00pm AEST.

WA FORTESCUE RESCUE PREMIER GRADE

The final round in the Fortescue Premier Grade is all wrapped up and clubs are locked in for the semi-finals.

The only close encounter of the weekend came from Hartfield Park as Kalamunda forced their way into finals with a 31-24 defeat over Nedlands with number eight William Tuheke-Wade putting on a show after scoring a hattrick.

UWA also secured their championship division finals spot after demolishing Curtin Uni 92-15 and retaining the Dr Norm Uren Shield. Wanneroo suffered a huge 55-point loss to Palmyra which kills their chance for finals.

Associates claimed the minor premiership defeating Southern Lions by 61 points and needed the bonus point to ensure Cottesloe didn’t overtake them on the table.

Cottesloe did manage to beat ARKs 73-5 at Harrisdale Pavilion whilst Joondalup and Wests Scarborough were both victorious after winning by 25 plus points.

Looking ahead the Premier Grade now moves into Semi-Finals. Associates will host Wests Scarborough at Allen Park in the first Premiership final on Saturday while Cottesloe will play Palmyra at Harvey Field on Sunday.  Catch all the action live on the RugbyWA Website and Youtube page. 

QLD HOSPITAL CHALLENGE CUP

Round 9 of the AllSports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup saw Easts claim top spot on the ladder following their 22-15 win over Wests. Former Wests centre Matt Smit crossed for a brace of tries for the Tigers while Eli Pilz notched 12-individual-points, slotting two conversions and a penalty whilst also scoring the opening try of the match. The clash also marked former Wallabies’ Captain Ben Mowen’s last home game at Easts.

GPS kept their finals hopes alive with a convincing 47-14 win over Souths at Chipsy Wood Oval. The Gallopers outscored the Magpies seven-tries-to-two, securing a bonus-point win which keeps them in fourth spot on the ladder.

The clash between Sunnybank and Bond University was a high scoring affair with the Bull Sharks coming away with a 59-43 win. While former Wallabies winger Digby Ioane crossed for a double for Sunnybank, Joey Fittock made his return on the wing for Bond and crossed for three of the Bull Shark’s nine-ties.

In the match of the round, the northside derby between Norths and Brothers saw the Brethren stay in the hunt for the top four. Brothers wingers Billy Bulley and Nathan Carroll both crossed for doubles, the visitors outscoring Norths six-tries-to-three. With Brothers two competition points behind fourth placed GPS, and with a game in hand, the Brethren have their hopes set on a finals berth, but they have two tough clashes against Sunnybank and ladder leaders Easts to finish the season.

Elsewhere in Queensland, Brothers Rockhampton claimed the title in Central Queensland with a 28-19 win over Gladstone in the Grand Final, while Emerald Rams claimed the Central Highlands title, defeating Blackwater 31-17.