QLD Premier Rugby Round 7: Brothers continue form, Norths upset Easts
Brothers scored 33 unanswered points to claim a classy bonus point win over UQ and continue their unbeaten start to the 2019 season.
In front of a strong crowd at Crosby Park, the Brethren trailed 20-15 late in the first half and scored just before half time to swing momentum in their favour, then kicked up a gear after the break.
“Brothers kept their foot on the pedal for the full 80 minutes,” UQ assistant coach Elton Berrange told Rugby News.
“We were leading around the 35 minute mark but then they scored a try just before and just after halftime, which is the mark of a quality team.”
Berrange said UQ were good in periods of the game, but couldn’t match Brothers in the second half.
“We did some very good things on Saturday but we just couldn’t keep our composure or discipline for long enough periods in the game,” he said.
“(Brothers No.10) Rohan Saifoloi controlled the game well with his boot. He’s got to be one of the best passers in the comp which gives them the ability to play with plenty width. Then Seb Wileman made plenty of in roads out wide and Reuben Wall punished us around the ruck.”
The win sets up a blockbuster top of the table clash between Brothers and arch-rivals GPS at Yoku Road next weekend.
“Brothers are obviously the form team but we’re not even halfway through the competition yet. It’s a long season and injuries and other challenges can change things. In saying that, they thoroughly deserve to be out in front at this stage,” Berrange said.
“GPS will pose a different threat this week with their set piece. It’ll be interesting to see how Jeeps cope with Brothers ability to shift the ball into space and play with the full width of the field in attack.”
Jeeps will also take confidence into next weekend’s clash after taking maximum points from their clash against Sunnybank.
The defending premiers trailed 14-7 before they scored three tries in 10 minutes to take a 26-14 lead to the break.
Sunnybank hit back to reduce the deficit to five points, but Jeeps struck late in the half again and scored two five pointers in the final 10 minutes to seal the result.
Elsewhere, Norths scored seven tries in their best performance of the season to beat Easts 47-13 in a result not many saw coming.
Duncan Paia’aua scored a double in his return to Premier Rugby as Norths ambushed the Tigers early.
“We got away to a good lead early on, which was a focus of ours, then we were able to grind away all match and keep creating opportunities,” Norths coach Luke Oxford said.
While Oxford said Paia’aua’s impact was obvious, he said he was also impressed with some of the lesser known players in the squad.
“We’ve got a group of younger guys who keep getting better each week. Keegan Tuhega, Michael Leary, Liam Prendergast and Dane Zander were all great again and I think that’s a really positive sign for the future of the club.”
On the Gold Coast, Wests held on to claim a hard fought 40-27 win over Bond.
In a seesawing battle, Wests scored two tries midway through the second half to jump out to 33-22 lead.
Bond hit back with 15 minutes remaining on the back of a dominant scrum and attacked after the full time siren in search of the winning try.
But Wests flanker Jerry Lynch intercepted a loose pass in the 84th minute and ran untouched to score and seal a 13-point win.
“It was a really pleasing win, the boys really dug deep in that one,” Bulldogs coach Pat Byron said.
“Bond put a lot of pressure on our scrum and that hindered our ability to retain possession but I think we did well with the ball we had.”
After seven rounds Brothers lead the competition six points ahead of GPS.
Wests and UQ both have a bye in the next fortnight and will have Souths, Easts, Norths and Bond all breathing down their necks in search of a spot in the top four.