So once again, Queensland Premier Rugby has not disappointed!
Sunnybank, Norths, Wests and Easts all recorded wins. And a very interesting result arose from this round: Souths and Uni drew. This further proves that Souths have become a force to be reckoned with and have strengthened throughout the season. Brothers gave away a penalty in the dying minutes in their game against Norths and went down 19-17. This was the upset of the round. Reigning Premiers Sunnybank have also strengthened, achieving a win against Jeeps. Our two coastal teams were defeated but the Gold Coast showed a gutsy effort and have played with determination and spirit throughout the season.
As we near closer to the finals, the games are really coming down to the wire and the heavyweights are battling it out. The lower teams are definitely trying to fight back and play for pride, and perhaps give a preview to the stronger sides that they will be coming at them again next year.
Round 13 next week… 13 is an unlucky number… could we have some upsets in store?
I was at the Brothers game so here is my match report. You can check out this match report and all others early in the week via the official round-up.
Brothers have endured their second loss in a row, going down 19-17 against a strong Norths side.
A breakdown in Brothers’ defence saw Norths leading in the first twenty minutes of the first half but playmaker Damon Murphy made use of his attacking skills and put some points on the board for the Brethren.
Maintaining excellent defence throughout the game, Norths denied Brothers many near-tries. Even with Norths having a 12-man team at one stage due to three yellow cards, Brothers were unable to capitalise on the opportunity to score two more tries to achieve a much-coveted bonus point win. Norths coach Michael Bishop was proud of his team’s efforts during this difficult phase of the game, saying ‘We showed a lot of courage today, especially with being down to twelve men at one stage, but we just persevered with our defence.’
Norths wingers Piriipi Neho-Popata and Varesa Vuki demonstrated excellent speed and attacking skills throughout the game and proved to be stand-out performers in the game. Brothers’ backline also combined good footwork and speed, with the combination of regaining the ball and gaining possession. Unfortunately, handling errors from both teams prevented their capitalising on try-scoring opportunities.
The close game demonstrated the turnaround in Norths’ season and Bishop believes that it was a well-deserved win. ‘We’ve been close a lot of times and we just haven’t got there… We were determined to win and I think we definitely deserved the win.’
With Brothers facing a series of tough games, this upset was not the confidence-booster they were looking for. Coach Matt Kaye said he was ‘obviously very disappointed. We struggled to match them physically and mentally. We are not far away but we have to improve quickly.’
Brothers now look forward to next week, playing recent dark-horse of the competition Souths at Chipsy Wood Oval, while Norths take on an improving Gold Coast side down the coast.
Norths 19 (Tonga Maafu, Piriipi Neho-Popata tries, Lasarusa Tabu 2 pen 1 con) defeated Brothers 17 (Damon Murphy, Charlie Freney tries, Dylan Taikato-Simpson 1 pen, 2 con)