Will The 2020 QLD Premier Rugby Schedule Make or Break Your Teams Finals Chances?
By Finn Morton; Photo – QRU/Brendan Hertel
There are definitely some teams facing an uphill battle on the back of the 2020 Premier Rugby season draw release, with teams playing near season-defining games every week.
Each team will play each other home and away in matches pitting minnows against contenders, champions against rivals, and everything in-between.
With all of this considered, I took a look at the draw and determined just how kind it’s been on your side.
Coach Elwee Prinsloo and his squad still haven’t watched their disappointing semi-final loss to UQ but will get the chance to rewrite history first up before a second-round bye. The Gallopers then play three winnable matches before mouth-watering round 6 and 15 clashes with Brothers which could play a vital part in the race for the minor premiership.
Brothers have one of the better schedules next season, facing Easts in round 2 and 11, before playing UQ and Jeeps in consecutive weeks a couple of rounds later. If the Filth can get through these games unscathed, they shouldn’t have any issues with making the top four.
University of Queensland: B+
The Red Heavies will kick-off their title defence with a blockbuster match at home against Jeeps, followed by matches against finals contenders Bond and Wests. After what should be a comfortable victory over Norths, UQ then face Brothers and Easts in matches which could decide the top two places. They won’t have their bye until the mid-point and end of the season which could become a big factor towards the back end of 2020 against well-rested opposition.
The Tigers should start next season with a comfortable victory over Norths, as they look to build into a round two clash with Brothers before their bye. Easts will finish their season with matches against Bond and Wests, and with all teams finishing close on the ladder last season, these games could make or break their finals hopes.
The Bulldogs open next season with matches against Sunnybank and Souths, two games they’ll back themselves to win. But four tough games against Souths, UQ, Jeeps and Bond will show just how much of a contender this young side is.
Bond has one of the toughest starts to the Premier Grade season, tasked with overcoming Souths, UQ and Jeeps before a bye. After their second round of fixtures against each other, it may be fair to say that those two months could determine their fate with all teams’ genuine finals contenders.
Souths open their 2020 campaign with three tough yet winnable games against Bond, Wests and Norths. The Magpies showed glimpses of their finals potential last season, but to get there they’ll need a strong start before facing all of last year’s finalists across six rounds starting with Brothers.
If the draw is anything to go by, the new year could bring another tough season for Norths. The Eagles start and finish their campaign against two of last season’s finals sides in Easts and Brothers, and play a block of tough games against Souths, UQ and Jeeps in-between. Good news for Norths fans though is that the Bunter Bowl will be up for grabs in round 2 against Sunnybank, a real chance to turn some heads and win the first piece of silverware for 2020.
The current Bunter Bowl holders will be pleased with their end to 2019, but it’ll be tough to build any momentum on top of that with opening games against Wests, Norths and Brothers. They’ll also have to overcome UQ, Jeeps and Bond in the back of the season if they want to secure an unlikely finals birth.
The full schedule can be found on the Rugby Xplorer app.