Club Corner: Finals Footy begins in Sydney and Brisbane, John I Dent Cup Grand Final and Tassie final to kick off this weekend

Shute Shield
by Nick Wasiliev

Welcome to Club Corner, our weekly series where we preview the upcoming weekend of Australia’s premier club competitions.

Finals Footy is in full swing now nationwide, and with so many competitions coming down to a head this weekend the stage is set for some of the best games of the year.

Perth - Fortescue Premier Grade Grand Finals Review

Cottesloe went back to back last weekend, winning the 2020 Fortescue Premier Grade 21-22 in an overtime thriller against a Associates.

Close to four thousand attended an incredible afternoon of football in the West, with many of the Colts and Lower Grades Finals running into extra time.

The Battle of Broome Street to top it all off was everything fans could have asked for, with both teams inseparable near the end of the match. However, it was the more experienced heads of the Gulls forward pack and a man of the match performance from Fly-half Caleb Young that proved the difference, with Young nailing a difficult conversion from the sideline to seal with the win and bring the WA season to a close.

 

 

Brisbane - Hospital Challenge Cup Finals

The Queensland Premier Grade Finals kick off this weekend, with four teams remaining in the form of Easts, University of Queensland, Bond University and GPS. Bond Uni should be especially proud of their efforts, after they were able to overcome University of Queensland to reclaim their finals positions from Brothers.

This weekend, two fantastic clashes loom. Easts will host University of Queensland in what arguably will be the game of the year. Easts have been one of the form teams of the year, and the opportunity to put the Students away for good will mean they'll be hungry for this one. The Students will be desperate however to reclaim their form following their loss last week, and have it in them to spoil Easts party.

READ MORE: Bond University trump with an inspiring Covid perspective

READ MORE: Ben Mowen - Tiger for life chasing the final piece to his career

The other match of the round sees Bond University take on GPS. Things look to have aligned perfectly for Bond, with them being in excellent form coming into this match. GPS meanwhile are coming off the bye, and while this means they'll be fresh, it could work against if they don't hit the ground running.

Fixtures:

Easts v University of Queensland

Bond University v GPS

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

Sydney - Shute Shield Preliminary Finals

Only six teams remain in the Shute Shield, with Eastern Suburbs landing a home final after putting eighty on Randwick in the final round last week. Gordon meanwhile regained some momentum with an important win over Eastwood, while Norths lost their runner up finish by losing to the Rats.

The finals now see three interesting clashes this weekend at Rat Park. Gordon will host Randwick, with the Stags likely to be favourites for this match. However, the Wicks have shown great potential this year, but consistency has been a key Achilles heel of their campaign.

READ MORE: Cagey coaches shelve old mates' act for Shute Shield Finals shootout

Norths will then host Sydney University, with both sides struggling to find momentum in the latter half of the year. Norths will look to bounce back after last week's surprise loss, while the Students will be desperate to keep their crown as defending champions.

Lastly, Eastern Suburbs will host Eastwood in the closest match of the bunch. Both teams stack up very evenly on paper, which makes the prospect of this match even more exciting.

Fixtures:

Gordon v Randwick

Northern Suburbs v Sydney University

Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood

The Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood clash will be live on 7TWO, with coverage starting from 3pm AEDT this Sunday.

Canberra - John I Dent Cup Grand Final

In what has arguably been the closest club competition this year, the John I Dent Cup comes to its conclusion with an enthralling grand final set to play out.

In typical fashion, the semi final served up two big surprises, with the Royals knocking the Uni-Norths Owls out away from home, before Gungahlin got sweet revenge at Viking Park and knocked Tuggeranong out of contention.

The two teams this weekend find themselves staring down the barrel of making club history. The Royals, as last years champions, will be looking to go back to back for the first time since 1991, while the Eagles will be looking to break a seventeen year drought and win the Cup for the first time since 2003. Flip a coin, cause this one is too close to call.

READ MORE: ACT Brace for Premier Rugby Grand Final Belter

Watch all finals games this weekend over the Brumbies Facebook page.

 

 

Adelaide - Coopers Premier Grade Preliminary Finals

And then there were six. Port Adelaide and Onkaparinga were knocked out of contention, with Brighton and Southern Suburbs picking up home semi finals.

In what is set to be an intense weekend of footy, current champions Burnside will face up against Old Collegians, while Woodville will host Adelaide Uni.

Preliminary Fixtures:

Woodville v Adelaide University

Old Collegians v Burnside

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

Tasmania - Premier Grade Grand Final

And finally, Tasmania's club competition comes to its climax this weekend, as the Devonport Bulls host the Taroona Penguins.

Devonport haven't dropped a game this season, and will be looking to go back to back for the first time ever in their history. Taroona are the team that have challenged them the most this season, and with finals footy, anything can happen.

READ MORE: Tassie set for blockbuster Grand Finals

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

And, of course, go the Wallabies!