This time in two weeks, we’ll be getting ready for the first round of finals. Time certainly flies! Round 17 showed some close results and another reshuffle of the ladder has taken place.
First of all, the Gold Coast and Norths had a high-scoring showdown but it was the Gold Coast who took the 54-51 win.
Following on from last week, Wests had a big 43-12 win against the Sunshine Coast.
Uni had a highly-convincing 46-25 win over GPS in their Annual Halley Appleby Memorial game. In the same game two years ago, much-loved player Halley Appleby tragically died. Uni’s convincing win over GPS was a great tribute to the legacy of Halley and all that he achieved.
Sunnybank defeated Souths 35-24 but despite this, they’re still unable to make the finals after Uni and Easts’ wins yesterday.
Brothers‘ spot in the Top Two is under threat after going down 44-12 against an in-form Easts side.
Easts v Brothers
Easts have cemented their spot in the Top Four after a thrilling, highly-convincing 44-12 win over Brothers at Bottomley Park on Saturday.
The home side certainly didn’t disappoint the large crowd at the Annual Old Boys Day, scoring a total of six tries and presenting a solid and consistent playing style.
Easts’ attack was dominant especially in the first half, after leaving Brothers with four unanswered tries in the first thirty minutes.
Aidan Toua proved to be a stand out player, scoring the Tigers’ first try and utilising his speed and footwork throughout the game to gain territory.
Despite their efforts, the Brethren found it difficult to capture the ball into their own half in the opening forty minutes due to Easts’ solid defence.
Easts’ bonus-point try came when Australian under 20’s youngster Jonah Placid made a 50-metre break against the run-of-play to touch down under the posts.
Just as the Brethren’s confidence looked damaged, Queensland Reds winger Dom Shipperley scored a five-pointer just before halftime. This put Brothers back in the game in time for a tense second half.
The frustration continued for the Brethren in the second half, with a combination of minor handling errors and Easts’ defence preventing them from making it into their half.
Easts’ alert and effective defence ensured that the Brethren’s possession of the ball was often short-lived.
The game looked to be out of reach for the Brethren in the 50th minute when Reds lock Blake Enever stole the ball and made a runaway try.
Brothers’ Nathanuel Gendle reciprocated by scoring a similar try minutes later but it was all too late for the visitors to stage a turnaround.
Easts sealed the deal and further proved their capabilities with a try just before the final whistle.
Brothers will be fighting to remain in the Top Two in their Heritage Round clash against University next week while Easts head to Wests to finish their regular season on a high.
For a full look at the ladder, head to Reds Rugby for all the details
P W L D F A Df BP <7p BP 4t Pts
GPS 17 13 3 1 507 303 204 2 12 68
Brothers 17 13 4 0 581 294 287 1 12 65
Easts 17 12 4 1 647 348 299 2 11 63
University of Queensland 17 12 3 2 649 407 242 0 11 63
Sunnybank 17 10 7 0 618 354 264 5 10 55
Souths 17 9 8 0 523 412 111 2 10 48
Wests 17 8 9 0 449 481 -32 1 7 40
Gold Coast Breakers 17 3 14 0 379 771 -392 3 6 21
Norths 17 2 15 0 442 826 -384 2 8 18
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union 17 1 16 0 211 810 -599 0 2 6
Is it too early to tell who you think will take the trophy? What are your predictions?