Club Corner: regular season sets in across the country

Thu, 22/04/2021, 12:27 pm
Nick Wasiliev
by Nick Wasiliev
Norths in action against Eastwood

With all club competitions now up and running across the mainland states, we are back for our weekly preview of the upcoming weekend of club footy!

This round sees the first of several derbies in Sydney, surprise top of the table clashes in Queensland, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, and much more. 

QUEENSLAND PREMIER GRADE - ROUND THREE

The Hospital Challenge Cup has seen several of the weaker teams from last year start with surprise wins, notably Sunnybank beating Easts in round one and Wests knocking off Brothers last week. Bond University, GPS and University of Queensland have been setting the pace, with the Bullsharks looking especially impressive knocking off Easts last week in convincing fashion.

With Brothers taking the bye this week, Easts will look to turn their fortunes around against GPS, Sunnybank will face the in-form Bullsharks, and the Red Heavies will host Norths.

RUGBY.com.au Match Of The Round:

Wests v Souths: both sides started 2021 with a sense that more could have been done in the previous season, with the Magpies finishing at the bottom of the ladder while Wests suffered from terrible inconsistency. The hosts started their season off well with a strong win over Brothers, and a win here would be ideal if they are to keep pace with the leading pack. 

Souths are currently 0-2, however they pushed University of Queensland the whole game last weekend, and if they were to back it up with another good performance here it will do much for their confidence and to turn their fortunes around. With a lot to play for, I anticipate they’ll show up for this one. 

Other fixtures:

Easts v GPS

Sunnybank v Bond University

University of Queensland v Norths

Brothers - BYE

Watch every minute of the Hospital Challenge Cup on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

Easts will be looking to get back into the winners circle this weekend.
Easts will be looking to get back into the winners circle this weekend.

SHUTE SHIELD - ROUND THREE

The Shute Shield saw several close results over the previous round, with several games being decided by a margin of less than seven. The Warringah Rats also started off their season positively with a win over the Wicks, while the Wildfires put in an improved performance against Norths. The biggest surprise however was the turnaround of Manly, who pulled off a surprise away win over Eastern Suburbs.

This weekend sees several major derbies across the competition, with the Galloping Greens hosting the Beasties in the battle for the East, while the Two Blues host the Emus in the battle for the West. Sydney University will also be coming up against Eastwood in Mudgee, while Souths will look to bounce back from two close losses when they host the Rats. And that’s even before the clash of West Harbour and the Wildfires.

RUGBY.com.au Match Of The Round:

Northern Suburbs v Gordon: while the Students-Woodies game is a close second, this weekend the derby that everyone should keep their eyes on is the latest clash in the Shoreman-Highlanders rivalry. Gordon only lost one game last year, and that game was against Norths during the regular season. While they made up for it come finals time, it’s fair to say they have found their traditional rivals the most difficult to put away. 

Add to the fact that it’s home ground advantage for the Shoreman and that both teams are still to drop a game, and you have the makings of a fascinating clash. Be at North Sydney Oval this weekend, this will be one to watch!

Other fixtures:

Randwick v Eastern Suburbs

Souths v Warringah

Western Sydney v Penrith

West Harbour v Hunter Wildfires

Sydney University v Eastwood

Manly - BYE

Watch every minute of the Shute Shield on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

The Rats kicked off their season in style last weekend.
The Rats kicked off their season in style last weekend.

JOHN I DENT CUP - ROUND TWO

The national capital competition returned last week and it did not disappoint, with several fascinating results. Uni-Norths got revenge on last year’s champions the Royals, Tuggeranong ran away against Queanbeyan, and Wests pulled off a big win against last year's runners up, Gungahlin. 

This weekend sees the Whites return across the border to host the Owls, while the Eagles will look to kick start their season when they host the Canberra Royals in a rematch of last year's grand final.

RUGBY.com.au Match Of The Round: 

Wests v Tuggeranong: the big winners of round one will face off this weekend, with Wests having a great opportunity here to really put their stamp on the competition. Knocking off the Eagles was a big scalp, however a win over the Vikings would send a real statement of intent to the rest of the competition. The Vikings always turn up for the big games, having become used to being the benchmark for the last few years.

Other fixtures: 

Queanbeyan v Uni-Norths

Gungahlin v Canberra Royals

Uni-Norths in action.
Uni-Norths in action.

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FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE - ROUND THREE

The FMG Premier Grade was even more unpredictable in round two, with Cottesloe and Associates going down yet again to UWA and Joondalup respectfully, while Nedlands, Kalamunda, ARKs, Wests Scarborough and Wanneroo all recorded wins. Even the traditionally weaker teams like Curtin Uni put in notably improved performances, suggesting that already the competition could be a lot closer in the West this year. 

This weekend sees several big upcoming clashes, including Palmyra hosting Nedlands, Brothers hosting the Lions, and Perth Bayswater hosting Wests. However, there is one clash that is looking particularly exciting:

RUGBY.com.au Match Of The Round:

UWA v Wanneroo: Uni have had a fantastic start to their season over the last fortnight, with two dangerously convincing wins over Cottesloe and Joondalup. Their attack has been particularly impressive, but this weekend they face one of the most unpredictable sides in the competition. 

Wanneroo started the season going down to the Lions, only to bounce back and put sixty on the Cavaliers last week. Considering they have a reputation for knocking off several heavyweight teams, there is no reason why Wanneroo couldn’t end the Students dream start. That is, if the right team turns up.  

Other fixtures:

Associates v ARKs

Perth Bayswater v Wests Scarborough

Curtin Uni v Kalamunda

Coastal Cavaliers v Cottesloe

Palmyra v Nedlands

Joondalup v Southern Lions

Wests in action against Palmyra.
Wests in action against Palmyra.

DEWAR SHIELD - ROUND TWO

Round one of the Dewar Shield finally returned over the weekend, and it was a round of extremes as several teams racked up big scores. Power House and Endeavour Hills put more than fifty on their opposition, while the Unicorns and the Rams also enjoyed positive wins to kick off their seasons.

This weekend will see several of the winning teams go head-to-head, with Box Hill making the journey to face Footscray, Harlequins hosting Melbourne Uni, and Morrabbin hosting Melbourne in what will be a fascinating clash. 

RUGBY.com.au Match of The Round

Power House v Endeavour Hills: what was most encouraging about the opening round was the solid performances of these two teams, and it’s fair to say that with them coming up against each other immediately, bragging rights will be more than up for grabs this weekend. Of particular note will be how Power House goes against Hills’ scrum, as last week their dominance saw them achieve two penalty tries for their efforts. 

Other Fixtures:

Footscray v Box Hill

Morrabbin v Melbourne

Harlequins v Melbourne University

The players with the Dewar Shield.
The players with the Dewar Shield.

COOPERS PREMIER GRADE - ROUND THREE

Lastly, after several surprises in the opening round, last week saw the stronger teams claim big wins in the Coopers Premier Grade. Burnside won a thriller against Southern Suburbs, Port Adelaide picked up a positive win over Uni, Old Collegians knocked off the Red Demons, and Woodville were ruthlessly put to the sword by last year’s premiers, Brighton. 

This weekend, all eyes will be on the upcoming clash between the two undefeated teams, Brighton and Old Collegians. Southern Suburbs will also be hosting Woodville and looking to get their first win of the season, while Port Adelaide has the bye. 

All fixtures: 

Onkaparinga v Adelaide University

Brighton v Old Collegians 

Southern Suburbs v Woodville

Elizabeth v Burnside

Port Adelaide - BYE

Wherever you are this weekend, we hope you enjoy your club footy!

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