QLD Premier Rugby: Where the semi finals were won and lost
By Tim Mosey
UQ came away with the chocolates from the major semi-final on Sunday after a hard fought win over GPS before Easts rolled Souths in the minor semi-final.
Here are the key points I took from the weekend:
- The Scrum Was Pivotal Between GPS and UQ.
The battle up front between UQ’s Tom Court, Hamish Richardson and Campbell Wakely and GPS’ Smith twins and Ryan Freney was worth the trek to Ballymore alone.
GPS won the battle early on, though didn’t seem to capitalize on their set piece dominance.
- When Will Eadie is in Space, Shut the Gate.
UQ’s young lanky winger resembles great Wallabies three-quarter Ben Tune.
His rangy gait, deceptive turn of pace and acceleration through contact contributed to his two tries in the first half.
- Tate McDermott can be the Difference
McDermott has solid service.
He may not even have the best service in his club with fellow scrumhalf Scott Gale possessing laser like missiles from the ruck.
What McDermott possesses though is elite game sense, exceptional ‘play reading abilities’ and the capacity to create something out of nothing from turnover ball.
In the first half he was responsible for two first half tries down the blindside from turnover pill.
He has x-factor.
Come grand final time, the young Sunshine Coast product may be the difference.
- Smart Rugby Wins Finals Matches
Souths’ had a pivotal moment in their match with Easts.
In the 67th minute they were down by a point and were awarded a penalty in what could be considered “unmissable” range.
Instead of taking the shot and putting themselves ahead by two, five eighth Quade Cooper took a calculated risk and attempted a cross-field kick for replacement back Jason Hofmeyr.
Hofmeyr gathered the kick but failed to stay in play, going over the dead ball line, resulting in a missed opportunity.
The Tigers called Souths’ bet and raised them a late try to put the game away.
- Easts Have a Club Siege Mentality
The Tigers have three sides through to week two of finals – perhaps unexpectedly.
Their reaction to Richie Asiata’s try to seal the deal against the Magpies acknowledged the club’s tight knit approach.
Asiata burrowed through from close range late in the second half and the team made their way straight to Newstead Brewing Co. Hill to celebrate with their supporters.
Next week’s match sees the Gallopers clash with the Tigers.
These teams collided two weeks ago with GPS trouncing Easts 39-5.
You can bet that the result of that counts for naught and we will see two teams desperate to make the grand final, battling for their 2018 lives.
Bring it on.
Sunday 12th 3:05pm. Ballymore, the home of QLD rugby.