QLD Premier Rugby: Round 11 Wrap Up
By Tim Mosey. Photo – QRU Media
A host of big names returned to their respective Premier Rugby clubs over the weekend and round 11 certainly didn’t disappoint. Here’s what I took out of the weekend’s fixtures.
Moimoi and Nucifora excel
Bond University have won four on the trot and look to be in exquisite form.
They sit one point outside the four ahead of home games against current top four rocks UQ and Souths.
On Saturday against GPS, Zach Moimio and Harry Nucifora had a field day.
At one point, second rower Moimoi put halfback Nucifora through space.
Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Bond are charging toward September. Is it to early suggest they could be finalists in 2018?
Magpies’ Wings Propelling Them to New Heights
It was the three quarter show at David Wilson Field on Saturday as Souths’ outside stars Emori Waqavulagi and Jayden Ngamanu combined for five tries between them.
Souths looked to have benefited from the bye and were clinical in their disposal of Easts at their home ground.
Ngamanu was exceptional.
The former Brisbane Boys’ College student – who was mentored through his 1st XV tenure by Magpie great Tom Barker – put on a clinic in terms of decision-making and space identification.
He is a formidable talent and punches above his weight in contact.
In his school days Ngamanu regularly cut players down to size double his height.
On BBC’s trip to the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament in 2015 Ngamanu led the Australian college to victory over the fancied Scots College of New Zealand, who featured twin cousins of All Black great Tana Umaga.
Ngamanu playing at 10 smashed his opponents.
He gave up 10kg and 10cm to the Umaga-Jensen twins and along with Brumby Len Ikitau led his school to a memorable win in Fukuoka.
Souths look the most likely victor week in week out. Their consistency seems to be the best in the tight competition.
There is a feeling similar to 2015 where they were led to victory in the grand final by Reds contracted back Teti Tela.
This year could it be Ngamanu?
Souths are looking in control of their destiny.
Doggies Depth is their Achilles Heal
Wests turned it on against Sunnybank on Saturday.
Their returning Reds brigade including Scott Higginbotham, Moses Sorovi, Filipo Daugunu and Lachlan Maranta helped the Doggies immensely.
The halves combination of Liam Dillon at flyhalf and Sorovi at halfback was a revelation.
Coach Pat Byron will be frustrated they have the bye this weekend, as he would have loved another week with a contract-strengthened team.
The back flick pass Daugunu threw to Sorovi for the Dogs final try in the corner reminded us of the talent the Doggies have missed at times this season.
Daugunu and fellow finisher Ed Fidow were significant contributors in Wests’ run to the post season in 2017.
Without them they have struggled in 2018.
Add to that their inconsistent set piece performance and Wests look like toiling toward September this year.
It won’t be for lack of effort.
Scrum doctor Fletcher Dyson is doing his best deep into Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and the forwards are told “one more scrum” repeatedly beyond 8pm.
Would a National Club Competition Work?
I’m calling it now.
Create a two tiered national club competition and capitalise on the current wave of support and exposure of grassroots rugby.
Sydney and Brisbane are enjoying unprecedented support for both NSW and QLD Premier Rugby competitions.
Wests are in their second year as a club with brand new facilities.
Bond have the backing of university money and have brand new facilities, strong growth locally and a depth of elite coaching talent.
Matches at Rat Park against Warringah and Manly draw crowds of 1000’s.
A two tiered system of between 10-12 teams in each tier across the country – QLD, NSW, WA, VIC and ACT – would bring rugby tribalism to greater heights.
The Wallabies are enjoying a flourish of support (albeit BEFORE the Rugby Championship).
RA – be bold. The NRL is not shrinking. The AFL is seeping further into the GPS schools. League soon will follow.
We have a former NRL Club CEO as our leader.
What a way to lay her mark on our game.
Lucky I am not in a Tipping Competition
Tipping. One word so far this year.
And what that suggests is that the competition this year is a lottery.
How good QLD rugby fans!
We love to see underdogs win.
We get bored of the same teams going undefeated in club rugby through the year.
So far QPR has delivered a general undercurrent of conversation in the rugby community of “gee, who’s gonna win this week?”
Spectators, club rugby supporters and commentators alike are genuinely intrigued by the strength of the competition and “flip-of-the-coin” closeness of Saturday fixtures.
Bring on the final seven weeks!