Review: GPS v. Norths – Gallopers Bounce Back Against Eagles

Review: GPS v. Norths – Gallopers Bounce Back Against Eagles

Queensland Premier Rugby round 10 action saw an unconvincing GPS side return to the winner’s circle with a 30-3 victory over the Norths Eagles.

It was a lacklustre game in the opening 40 minutes, with both teams producing sloppy play, penalties and dropped ball. GPS were first on the board through the boot of Pat Smith, and the scoreboard would remain unchanged until the second stanza.

Norths were more willing to keep the ball in hand and they were rewarded with good metreage gains on more than one occasion, but they lacked the execution to finish off.

There were few highlights from the first half as both teams struggled to find continuity, with GPS opting to kick the ball away, and Norths failing to finish promising attacking raids.

The home team nearly scored a try through Joey Lala, when the fullback hoisted a booming kick downfield. The Eagles’ cover showed little urgency to gather the ball and, if not for a poor bounce, Lala would have regathered and dotted down under the posts.

Norths suffered a scare midway through the first half when inspirational captain Carlos Gavidi went down with what appeared to be a serious injury. The stretcher was rushed on to the field and it looked as though the Eagles were going to have to go on with out him. However, Gavidi rose to his feet, much to the delight of the away fans, and went on to play out the game.

The break couldn’t come soon enough for either side, and when it did, the crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief — probably hoping for a change in game tactics in the second half.

When play resumed, the Eagles looked the better of the two sides as they took play deep into GPS’s territory. A desperate Gallopers defensive line withstood several waves of attack from the Eagles but it was a case of déjà vu for Norths when they turned the ball over, again lacking the execution to get over the line.

Despite still being down on the scoreboard, the away team continued to apply the pressure on the Gallopers. But the home side scored against the run of play when Junior Rasolea took an intercept to run 50 metres and cross for the first try of the match.

The try did little to change GPS’s game plan, and there were disapproving groans as the home team continued to kick away possession in good territory. Their defence was impressive, however, and Norths were forced to take a penalty shot at goal, finally getting on the scoreboard after struggling to penetrate the GPS line.

The ensuing kick-off saw GPS regather through young lock Ben Toolis, and they looked to build some phases, with their first real opportunity in the opposition half. They were rewarded soon after, when Mitch Carpenter wrestled his way over to take the score to 18-3.

Carpenter’s try seemed to break the visitors and the young lock had his second just minutes later when he ran on to a superb short ball from tighthead prop JP Smith, to dart over from 22 metres out, giving Pat Smith an easy shot at goal.

The home team had now discovered that keeping the ball in hand was a more effective game plan, and Junior Rasolea bagged his second try when he finished off a good display of running rugby. He duly celebrated the bonus point try with a slick little ‘dougie’.

The Gallopers’ change in mindset was nearly rewarded with a fifth try right on full time; young halfback Scott Malolua being held up over the line signalled the end of what was a generally frustrating game.

Norths could consider themselves unlucky not to have more points on the board, as the scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the game. They will need to be a much better side when they take on University at home in Round 11.

GPS will know they have plenty of room for improvement as they look forward to a challenging match against a resurgent Souths at Chipsy Wood Oval next week.

Full round results and round up here.

Round 10 Results

Home TeamScoreversusAway TeamScoreLocation
Brothers28vEasts17Brothers / Jack Ross Oval
GPS30vNorths3GPS / Yoku Road
Sunnybank26vSouths31Sunnybank / Old Mac Oval
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union26vRugby Gold Coast22Sunshine Coast Rugby Union / Stockland Park
University of Queensland13vWests8Ballymore / Ballymore 1

Round 11 Matches

Home TeamversusAway TeamLocationMatch Time
NorthsvUniversity of QueenslandNorths / Hugh Courtney Oval1515
Rugby Gold CoastvEastsRugby Gold Coast / Surfers Paradise RC, Albert Park 1500
SouthsvGPSSouths / Chipsy Wood Oval1500
Sunshine Coast Rugby UnionvSunnybankSunshine Coast Rugby Union / Stockland Park1400
WestsvBrothersWests / Sedgman Oval 11500

The ladder after Round 10

TeamPLayedWonLostDrawnForAgainstDfBP <7pBP 4tPoints
University of Queensland107303532291241736
Rugby Gold Coast10280187322-1352111
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union9180129336-207015

Join the conversation in the forum thread — we’d love your input. Give us your thoughts on the game you attended and we’ll put it in next week’s post. Remember your #3rdtier hashtag when tweeting the games, and check out the 3rdTier Facebook page.

And remember: If You Come, They Will Build It.


Working in Rugby Operations. Dabbling in media (RedsTV, G&GR) Weekend Warrior with GPS 2nd Grade in Brisbane "I'm a peacock, you gotta let me fly!"

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