QLD Premier Rugby Round 15: Bond Come Off Bye Ready For Must-Win Clash
By Finn Morton; Photo – Brendan Hertel/QRU Media
Bond come off their bye with a huge task waiting for them as they prepare to face top-four side Souths in a do-or-die clash.
The Gold Coasters currently sit seventh on the ladder, five points behind the Magpies but with a game in hand.
A loss for Bond this Saturday would see Souths extend their lead over them on the ladder, potentially widening the gap to ten-competition points with only three rounds following this weekend.
But the question that hangs over Bond as they prepare for Souths is how will they respond to the bye? Their last bye came in round five, returning to action with a 25-20 loss to the Magpies.
With the competition as close as it is, Bond can’t afford for history to repeat.
Bond captain Harry Nucifora is confident that his side can take full advantage of the bye this time around though as they play to keep their finals aspirations alive.
“There were a lot of tired bodies leading up to the bye so I feel that it has treated us well,” admitted Nucifora.
“We have had a really good preparation this week and the energy at training has been really intense.
“I don’t think the bye interrupts us too much and those wins (against Easts and Jeeps) are in the past now. All we need to do is focus on winning each of our next games one at a time.
“We have to treat every game leading up to the finals as if it’s our last chance. We don’t want to rely on other results for us to get into the finals.”
But Souths are desperate for a win also, with a loss being equally as detrimental to their final’s chances.
That’s why Nucifora is expecting a tough challenge this weekend against an unpredictable team who are “very dangerous off unstructured play.”
“Souths are very dangerous off unstructured play and counter attack. They love to throw the ball around and they do it very well.
“If we can avoid turning over the ball during phase play and make sure our defence is rock solid, we should see some good results at the end of the day.
“We need to make sure that we can disrupt this momentum and take the game into our own hands.”
Bond has not managed to win more than two games in a row throughout an “up and down” 2019 campaign.
The Gold Coasters are looking to break that trend as a win this weekend would mark three-wins in a row, albeit with a bye in-between.
But Nucifora is adamant that winning these last four games is the focus as they look to keep their season alive.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year with injuries and other things.
“We definitely have aspirations as a team to make finals this year. For us to be successful in doing this, we have to focus on winning each of these last four round games.”
Bond host Souths on the Gold Coast this Saturday at 3:20 pm.