QLD Premier Rugby Round 11: Five things we learnt
By Michael Atkinson. Photo: Brendan Hertal – QRU Media
Saturday just gone threw up another round of fascinating fixtures; creating more intrigue in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition. University look completely unstoppable with seven rounds to go, while the rest of the competition just got a whole lot closer.
Jeeps second half woes
For the second straight week, the Gallopers were run down by their opposition despite holding a comfortable lead at half time. Leading Norths 26-10 at the break, the Eagles rose to the occasion and secured a 31-29 victory – inflicting a second straight loss for G.P.S. It means Jeeps have scored a total of just three points in the second halves of their last three matches. It’s a statistic the team would be aware of and one they would desperately want to rectify.
Wests missed opportunity
The Dogs are sitting in fourth spot and, with Sunnybank having the bye, could have moved into third (maybe even second on the back of a huge win and in light of Jeeps’ loss) had they toppled the Magpies. They were met by a resurgent Souths’ outfit, however, and suffered a 15-point loss. No panic stations for the Dogs though, still in the top four and very much a contender.
Souths headed north
Back-to-back wins for the Magpies. From two wins in 2017 to four and both over sides sitting above them on the ladder. Still plenty of work to do get the season back on track, but they’ve found a bit of form and they have the cattle to challenge anyone on their day. Their next game is against Norths in a game that could potentially see the end of one team’s season.
Fogarty gets one back
Nick Fogarty departed G.P.S. Rugby Club at the end of 2014 in controversial circumstances after being overlooked for the head coach role despite many years of success as the Reserve Grade coach. “Fogs” has been in charge of the Eagles ever since and, despite some high times, had never recorded a win over his old club… until Saturday. Norths looked to be headed to another disappointing loss to the Gallopers but rallied to pile on 21 points in the second half to blow the roof off the clubhouse at Hugh Courtney Oval.
Finals race wide open
Aside from top spot which UQ seems to have a mortgage on, the competition is well and truly alive with seven rounds remaining. GPS are just clinging to second, on 28 points, but another loss could see them drop as low as fourth. Sunnybank and Wests sit third and fourth respectively but Easts, Brothers and Souths are nipping at their heels. Even the Eagles are still a chance of making a long-awaited finals appearance, sitting nine points below the fourth-placed Bulldogs. Plenty of preseason pundits were making predictions that this would be one of the closest seasons in recent memory, and so far it has lived up to expectation. Bring on the next two months!