by Juan Cote & Noddy
Well who would have picked that both Grand Finalists from last season would be rolled by less fancied opponents in round one? Hard to believe but the Filth were beaten by the Sunny Coast and Souths were pipped by GPS.
The pre-season bully revolved around the threat that Sunny Coast posed and it has proven to be the case with them getting over the reigning premiers 33-20.
The Stingrays have now recorded back to back wins by accounting for the Goldie and Brothers in their opening two games have to be taken seriously.
At Chipsy Wood oval, GPS shocked Souths in a heart stopper 29-26. GPS have shown some decent from in the pre-season games and have carried this through to the start of the season.
The Gallopers took maximum points from the game by scoring 4 tries while Souths took two points from the game finishing within 7 points and scoring four tries as well.
At Red Heavy stadium, the Students had their colours lowered by the Goldie by the same score as GPS v Souths, 29-26. Uni were heavily fancied to win this one so the Breakers would be more than happy to come away with the win and stop the rot from the previous week.
The match of the round saw Easts take on Sunnybank at Bottomley Park with the Easts winning out 43-30.
Sunnybank opened the stronger and skipped to a 15-0 lead after 10 mins but as the half wore on the Tigers played their way into the match on the back of a superb performance by fly-half Matt Brandon.
Although Sunnybank went to the break 20-14 up, it was clear the Tigers were getting the better of them and as the second half unfolded, the Easts’ backrow ramped up the pressure and the home side took the lead in the 54th minute and were never headed.
Two tries to Adian Toua in the last 20 minutes sealed the win that was built on the foundations laid by Brandon and tireless number 6 Mitch Sincock.
Easts coach Pat Richards was more than satisfied with the win and in particular the role his backrow played.
“The backrow was great today considering we lost number 8 (and Captain) Luke Bertini in the first minute. They didn’t stop all day and allowed us to get in behind the Dragons and play off that.”
Over at Sylvan Road, Norths were another team to carry over their impressive pre-season form with a dominant 55-8 win over Wests. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs all they carried over was their form from 2009 when they finished the season as wooden spooners.
Whilst the Eagles backline looked dangerous, in particular wing Luke Samoa in the second half, it was a clear case of the old adage ‘forwards win matches, backs just determine by how much.’
Hooker Ryan Schultz was my man of the match and was rewarded with two meat pies (metaphorically, not literally). He was an energiser bunny around the field and highly effective. Not far behind was the excellent lock, Utu Maninoa, who showed both raw-boned aggression and fine skill in an eye-catching performance.
Most eyes, however, were on former NRL superstar Sione Faumuina. The former kiwi international played inside Reds squad member, Blair Connor, at inside centre. It was a promising start for Faumuina, albeit against rather lacklustre opposition. He scored one try and played a key role in another whilst running strongly and off-loading well all game.
Sunshine Coast 33 (A Gavegan, T Bird, J McPherson tries M Stone 4 pens 3 cons) d Brothers 20 (M Dews, N Gendle tries Dallan Murphy 2 pens 2 cons)
Caxton Cup: GPS 29 (J Calderia-Santos, M Donaldson, S Poole, S Satui tries D Slade pen con M Garland 2 cons) d Souths 26 (D Feao, B Hamlin, A Ketchell, H Kolokihakaufisi tries, M Zovko 3 cons)
Gold Coast 29 (M Ngauamo, K Wahlstrom, D Nethery tries, D Nethery 4 pens, con) d University 26 (H Elliott, J Van Vuuren, M Wade tries, J Lance 3 pens, con)
Easts 43 (T White 2, A Toua 2, D Fuller, J Wilder tries, M Brandon 3 cons, A Krelle pen, 2 cons) d Sunnybank 30 (O Avei, L Gill, D Routledge, S Tela tries, S Tela 2 pens, con, M Lucas con)
Norths 55 (B Connor 2, R Schultz 2, S Faumuina, E La Motta, J Samoa, L Samoa tries, L Samoa pen, 6 cons) d Wests 8 (T Luafutu try I Aokuso pen)
Saturday, 17 April 2010
GPS v Brothers @ Yoku Road
Gold Coast v Easts @ Albert Park
Sunnybank v Wests @ Oldmac Oval
University v Sunshine Coast @ St Lucia
Norths v Souths @ Shaw Road
All games kick off at 3pm.