Club Corner: Finals footy in four States

Hospital Cup
by Nick Wasiliev

Welcome to Club Corner, our weekly series where we preview the upcoming weekend of Australia’s premier club competitions. The finals for four state premier competitions start this weekend, while the business end of the season approaches in Brisbane and Sydney.

Brisbane - Hospital Challenge Cup Rd. 10

The Hospital Challenge Cup’s penultimate round is upon us, and the battle for the top of the ladder shapes up to be a thrilling encounter. With University of Queensland having a bye, Easts’ victory over a determined Wests outfit saw them reclaim the top of the ladder over the Students. Bond University also consolidate their finals positions with wins, while Brothers also stayed in the hunt with a win of their own over Norths.

However, Easts have the bye this weekend, and if University of Queensland prevail over Wests and reclaim the top of the ladder, it sets up a potentially thrilling final round next weekend.

Our Match of The Round:

Bond University v GPS - Of all the matches this weekend, this game as the potential to really upset the applecart for one of the teams, should they lose. Brothers is in fighting form and is refusing to go away in their push for a finals position, and with them up against seventh-placed Sunnybank there is a strong chance they could overtake GPS, should they lose this game. While GPS can’t afford to drop this game, Bond University meanwhile also could be under threat if Brothers win. Sitting in third place, a win here would put them in striking distance to win the minor premiership, as they’ll be facing University of Queensland next week. To put it simply, they need to win here to maintain momentum.

Other Fixtures:

Sunnybank v Brothers
Souths v Norths
University of Queensland v Wests
BYE - Easts

All Hospital Challenge Cup games are live and free on Rugby Xplorer, available on the App Store.

Sydney - Shute Shield Rd. 12

The Shute Shield also enters the business end of the season with it’s penultimate round this weekend, and with only nine points separating 1st and 5th, there is still plenty on the line for this season. Gordon still hold a slender lead, getting back to winning ways with an impressive home win over Sydney University. Randwick’s victory over Manly also saw them move back up to third with Eastwood having the bye, while Norths continued to show their title credentials with a convincing home win over Southern Districts.

This weekend however, will see a lot of intense clashes. Gordon will be playing against Penrith away from home, which comes at an ideal time for them to consolidate first place. Eastwood will also look to reclaim third place with their match against the Rats, and with the Galloping Greens on the bye could potentially line themselves up to push for a second-placed finish.

Our Match Of The Round:

Sydney University v Northern Suburbs: Sydney University feature again in our match of the round, but this time have home advantage in what will be a desperate clash for them. Last year’s winners have been shown up several times this season, and with them precariously sitting in sixth place missing out on finals all together is a realistic possibility if they lose this match. Norths, meanwhile, also can’t afford to lose, as a potential top place finish is still likely for them. A win here will keep them in touch with the Highlanders, and also guarantee a top two finish. All the competition stakes makes this a tantalizing clash!

Other Fixtures:

Western Sydney v Eastern Suburbs
Penrith v Gordon
Southern Districts v Manly
Eastwood v Warringah
Hunter v West Harbour
Randwick - BYE

The Sydney University - Northern Suburbs clash will be live on 7TWO, with coverage starting from 3pm this Saturday.

Canberra - John I Dent Cup Quarter Finals

John I Dent Cup… there’s no predicting you. You’re an enigma wrapped in a riddle! After round after round of close contests, the final round of the regular season saw three enormous blowouts.

Uni-Norths lost the top of the ladder, being shown up at home 14-49 by the Vikings, who took the minor premiership. Wests threw everything at Queanbeyan and came away with a bonus point win 7-45, giving them the best chance at making finals.

Or so we thought, until Gungahlin went to the Royals home ground and smacked the hosts 0-62. The result saw the Eagles get thrown in points difference, resulting in a heartbreaking end to Wests season.

All teams will now enjoy a bye this weekend, before the semi finals kick off next Saturday.

Semi Final Fixtures:

Uni-Norths v Canberra Royals
Tuggeranong v Gungahlin

Perth - WA Premier Grade Finals

Talk about squeezing in by the skin of their teeth! Kalamunda, after being an outside chance of making finals, just made it into the finals with an incredible victory over Nedlands at home. With Wanneroo getting smacked by Palmyra, Kalamunda got in on a slender points difference. The result was an anomaly in what was a week of big wins to finish off the season, with UWA, Wests Scarborough, Cottesloe, Palmyra and minor premiers Associates all putting more than sixty on their opponents.

This weekend sets up an incredible round of finals, with plenty of potential for upsets on the cards. All teams have challenged or beaten each other at some point this season, and with nothing can taken for granted in this part of the season.

Our Match of The Round:

Associates v Wests Scarborough - top of the table against the late challengers. Wests have been in excellent form, having not lost a game since round six. Additionally, the last time these two met a fortnight ago, Wests prevailed in a thriller, 28-27. The hosts however aren’t the minor premiers for nothing, and with a target on their back this finals campaign, will not be taking any teams for granted. Get ready for a delicious serving of footy this weekend in the West!

Quarter Final Fixtures:

Associates v Wests Scarborough
Joondalup v Kalamunda
Cottesloe v Palmyra
Nedlands v UWA

You can watch the selected match of the round over at wa.rugby.

Adelaide - Coopers Premier Grade Finals

Last weekend saw two clear frontrunners emerge, with Old Collegians and Brighton pick up wins to finish at the top of the ladder. With the regular season done and dusted, it’s finals time in the Garden City. With several top four clashes to kick it off it will be interesting to watch how deep the likes of Southern Suburbs and Woodville will go into this campaign. The top four looks set in the form of Brighton, Old Collegians, Burnside and Onkaparinga, but with finals footy, all bets are off. All sides will enjoy this weekend off, before going head to head on October 10th.

Quarter Finals Fixtures:

Brighton v Old Collegians
Southern Suburbs v Woodville
Burnside v Onkaparinga

All Coopers Premier Grade games can be watched live and free on Rugby Xplorer, available on the App Store.

Tasmania - Premier Grade Finals

The finals in Tasmania are also now on, and with the Lions and the Stags picking up big wins, they finish making up the top four. Devonport finished the regular season as undefeated minor premiers, but they had to earn it against a strong Taroona outfit, eventually winning 20-24. While Devonport are favourites, stranger things have happened come finals time, and Taroona showed they certainly have it in them to deliver a surprise knockout come this weekend.

Qualifying Finals:

Hobart Lions v Glenorchy
Devonport v Taroona

We hope you enjoy your club rugby this weekend, wherever you are!