QLD Premier Rugby Round 8: Five Things to Look Out For
By Michael Atkinson. Photo: QRU Media Unit – Brendan Hertel
Whether you’re backing a team at the top of the ladder or one battling at the bottom, this competition seems to throw up intrigue and entertainment week in, week out. After seven rounds, fans, coaches, and players, have been surprised, pleased and devastated. So why would round eight be any different?! Here’s five things to whet the appetite for the weekend ahead.
Tigers need to bounce back
Easts were toppled by the ever-improving Wests Bulldogs on the weekend and the opportunity to bounce back this week is without doubt the hardest in the competition – the undefeated University side.
If there was ever a chance for the Tigers to show their premiership credentials, this is it. Uni have wiped all before them and they’re probably paying ‘Black Caviar-odds’ to repeat it against Easts. So, here’s a challenge for the Tiges: do what no one else has been able to do yet and beat the students. Make the rest of the competition stand up and take notice.
With Uni streets ahead on the table, GPS and Sunnybank are the next closest. The two sides face off this weekend and both are coming off losses. The Gallopers were toppled by Brothers, by a single point, while Sunnybank were on the end of 51-point drubbing from Uni. Both teams have the opportunity to solidify their place in the top four, but the loser could fall out of the four.
Who let the Dogs out?
Guess what? The Doggies are in the top four! The Bulldogs collected their third win on Saturday and this weekend they could pick up their fourth, something they haven’t done since 2013 (when they won eight). They play Bond University at Sylvan Rd and you’d be a brave punter to put your money on a Wests lost.
Brothers find their mojo
The defending premiers recorded a much-needed win over GPS on the weekend. The Gallopers almost broke blue-and-white-hearts with a kick to win the game after the siren, but it sailed wide. Brothers now have a chance to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they face Souths in round 8. The Magpies were belted by Wests two weeks ago and again in round seven, this time by the previously winless Norths. Not to kick a man while he’s down, but Souths are ripe for the picking and Brothers should have their buckets ready.
This is a bit of a contradiction from the first point. I challenged Easts to take it to Uni and show the other teams how to beat the Red Heavies. But if you go and watch this game, you’ll be treated to a spectacle, regardless of who wins. I guarantee it. If Easts win, it’ll be a huge upset, one not to be missed. If Uni produce another 50-point display (like they have in 5 of their 6 matches so far) you’ll be treated to a display of some of the best attacking rugby at any level. Anything in between these two results will be just as worth watching. Uni take the saying “the game they play in heaven” to heart and it shows in the way they play. Keep your eye on outside centre, Josh Birch; can play footy.