QLD Premier Rugby Round 14: Five things we learnt
By Tim Mosey
Quade Cooper led Souths to a big win, Bond held off Brothers, Easts were too good for Sunnybank and GPS belted Norths. Hear’s what we learnt from the weekend:
Coming Down to The Wire
It’s a battle for the top four.
All season we’ve been saying how tight the competition is and now just six points separate the top five sides.
Norths in sixth would have to hope results go their way and would need to win their final matches comfortably if they are a shout for finals footy.
This leaves GPS, UQ, Souths, Easts and Bond fighting it out over the last four rounds.
Any of these sides can realistically see themselves in the post season but a loss in the final four rounds will be costly.
The run home for the top five clubs looks like this:
GPS – Wests (a), Souths (a), UQ (a), Easts (h)
Souths – Bond (a), GPS (h), Sunnybank (a), UQ (h)
UQ – Norths (h), Wests (a), GPS (h), Souths (a)
Easts – Bye, Norths (a), Wests (h), GPS (a)
Bond – Souths (h), Sunnybank (a), Bye, Norths (a)
Only one home match left for Bond, Easts and GPS. Intriguing.
QC is Back
From the outset Quade Cooper was back to his best.
He started with an audacious behind the back LeBron James like pass, in a tackle, for Emori Waqavulagi to dot down in the corner.
Then he threw an unnecessarily extravagant dummy to no one which unexplainably left Wests defenders clutching at straws for his first try.
Early in the second half Cooper threw an an over the top cut out pass which enabled Josateki Lalagavesi to slide over in the right hand corner.
And he backed up from inside the Magpies half to receive a pop off the ground from half back Richard Kingi to swagger over under the posts for Souths final try.
Yep, Quade’s back.
Nucifora in Form
Bond University’s halfback Harry Nucifora could very well propel his side into the top four if he continues his rich vein of form.
Nucifora backed up nicely to score in the first half and was busy throughout the game.
His service throughout the match was accurate, fast and to width when necessary.
Plus his goal kicking has kept his side in matches.
There are a number of talented young No.9s running around in Premier Rugby, but Nucifora is currently the pick of the bunch.
Point Scoring Update
The top point scorer race is heating up.
Leading the way is James Dalgleish from University of Queensland. He sits on 114 from 13 matches played, an average of 8.8 points per match.
Closing the gap is Doggies fullback Byron Hutchinson. He has amassed 102 points in eight matches at 12.8 points per match – the best aggregate in the competition.
Eagles standoff Nick Jooste comes in third on 98 points from 12 matches played – 8.2 points per match.
Closely in fourth is in-form Bond rake Nucifora. The former ACGS star sits on 91 points from 11 matches at 8.3 points a match.
Tigers stinger Savenaca Totovasau continues to lead the try scoring list on 15 from 13 games – a red-hot strike rate.
Locked in second place are Doggies heavyweight second rower Roberts Puliuvea and electric Magpies outside back Emori Waqavulagi, both on 10 meat pies. Puliuvea grabbed two against the Magpies on Saturday.
Next are a bunch of speedy wingers and fullbacks right?
Both on nine tries apiece are Brothers back rower Harry Wilson and Easts forward Andrew Ready.
Can anyone catch Savenaca? My money is on Ready!
YP Threads – Jaybor and his Kit
Anyone who has watched the QPR YouTube coverage would have heard commentator Jaybor Staunton adding his colour and expertise to the airwaves.
From exceptional knowledge of the players to eloquently calling every Samoan and Fijian last name with poise, Staunton has certainly added his spice to the competition’s coverage.
For those diehard club rugby fans catching “Sauce on the Sidelines” after every match, you would have noticed a fill in last Saturday, none other than Jaybor himself.
Each week Staunton dons an outrageous shirt consisting of some type of floral arrangement or outlandish pattern.
Last week though, took the cake.
To your camouflage, penguin patterned long sleeve button up shirt and equally striking green camo snap back, Sir I salute you.