Defence key in UQ’s win over Jeeps, but skipper says Students need to improve to beat Brothers in GF

By Finn Morton; Photo: QRU Media Unit – Brendan Hertel/Tom Primmer

UQ has knocked defending-champions Jeeps out of the Premier Grade competition, after a 34-14 upset win in the preliminary final at Ballymore last Sunday.

The Students beat the Gallopers for the first time this season after two failed regular-season attempts, including a 59-32 loss only a few weeks ago in round 18. That loss was a minor blip in a strong two months of rugby for the Red Heavies, who have now won eight out of their last nine.

UQ Captain James Dalgleish was pleased with his side’s performance against the competitions best defensive side. While the scoreboard highlights an impressive outing with the ball-in-hand, Dalgleish was especially pleased with his sides defensive performance.

“It was very pleasing to score 34 points against a strong Jeeps outfit. We have some talented players in the team that are very capable of finding the try line so we knew if we could hold onto the ball for long periods, points would come,” said Dalgleish.

“The defensive effort was the most pleasing aspect of the game.

“I believe we won the game through our defensive effort in the first half against a strong wind.”

The captain may have been happy with the performance last weekend, but he wants his side to improve at the breakdown as they prepare for the final.

“It was good to get the win but there are a few aspects we can improve, especially around the breakdown, heading into this weekend.

“We would like to be more effective at the breakdown in both attack and defence.

“In attack, good execution of the breakdown will allow us to play at a fast pace. In defence, we will be able to slow their ball down and potentially turn it over.

The Students have now booked their spot in the big dance on Sunday, in what will be their fourth-straight Premier Grade Grand Final appearance.

Despite their recent successes, UQ has only won one of the three previous finals. One of their losses came last year against Jeeps, so they will be looking to go one better to finish 2019.

They will face Minor Premiers Brothers, who handed Jeeps their first of two straight losses last weekend in the Major Semi-Final.

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