Updated: Apr 28
Round 3 of QPR celebrated Anzac Day and boy it didn't disappoint, the only one we got wrong was a big win for some underdogs on Sunday!
Let's check it out!
Easts v GPS
On the back of two losses the Tigers returned home to face undefeated GPS and challenge them for the Bunter Bowl.
The game started slow with Easts spending much of it in their Red Zone. Despite some electric early signs from Josh Collins GPS took the three’s on offer and led 6-0 by 21 minutes (sigh).
Minutes later Henry Olsen found the white paint putting the home side one behind the pace, where they would stay going into the break.
Early in the second a lapse in short side defence put winger Max Baker into space gifting lock Mitch Schneider a try moments later putting the tigers ahead by six.
GPS replied taking the lead by eight after Lock Daniel Byrne scored off a maul and substitute hooker Matt Mafi picking and driving his way over also for a try.
A quick counterattack produced a penalty try, after a Jason Hofmeyr deliberate knockdown denied Mika Tela a genuine scoring opportunity. The fullback copped a yellow and put the Tigers one point behind 19-20 with six minutes to go.
A failed Easts maul and a subsequent scrum penalty brought the visitors to their doorstep where reserve prop Jethro Felemi crossed off a maul to keep GPS undefeated winning 25-19.
Another great showing for GPS who sit in the leader group within the competition, they take on Sunnybank at home in Round Four. We could be seeing a shuffle up soon though, word has it in-form Flyhalf Aj Alitimu is off to MLR in the coming weeks.
No Kennedy or Pilz fundamentally hurt Easts this round but perhaps there is a bigger void from no Mowen or Toua. Overall coordination is way down, and they will need to get it sorted with a grand final rematch this week at St Lucia.
Sunnybank v Bond
After beating last year’s premiers in their previous rounds, It was time to face one another at Sunnybank.
Bond got the party started early with a simple through the hands effort putting Max Dowd over and grabbing a seven point lead.
A line breaking kick return from Fullback Liam McNamara 60 meters sold an XL box of favourites to flanker Connor Pritchard and put Nesetolio Solia over leveling the scores.
Bond ploughed over for another signature driving maul try with hooker Nick Turner in the driver’s seat this time.
The same play failed five minutes later but some absurd footwork from Max Dowd gave him a double and the bull sharks a lead 21-7.
Sunnybank grabbed an easy three before the break and then first points of the second through Jeff Faamausili in close quarters to get within six.
Another Max Dowd effort half a metre away from a hat-trick propped up an easy try for Nixon Tarami that denied the dragons a bonus point at full time.
Bond will return home and have two weeks to prepare for a top of the table clash with GPS in round five thanks to the bye. Despite their fierce forwards and lethal backs, they still have their creases, but heaps of time to iron them out.
Sunnybank are showing some impressive signs but are still chasing that 80-minute performance. It is a good challenge away against GPS this week, but one they need to win to find their momentum once more.
UQ v Norths
Norths travelled to St Lucia in pursuit of their first win of the season on Saturday, safe to say it was not their day.
Early on the Eagles took three points and the lead after a penalty, then UQ went to work.
Number eight Lona Halaholo found the chalk after a dominant scrum to put them ahead by four.
Fred Keil was next scoring over the top of Conor Chittenden followed by Kye Oates who sliced his way over the line also putting the home side ahead 21-3 at half time.
Captain Pat Morrey scored at first receiver up close to kickstart the second and add another seven to the score line.
Norths hit back soon after with Harrison Fox scoring under the sticks and a tee-less Jacob Prideaux dropkicking the extras bringing the scores to 10-28.
A groggy Jordan Tuapo left the field after a big Collison with UQ’s James Wood minutes before Halaholo grabbed his second.
UQ’s subs finished the day with Siakisini and Hearn scoring tries. Kye Oates had another impressive day on the boot going 6/7.
Safe to say the Students have finally got out of second gear and meeting the standard we have come to expect. With an axe to grind they are going to not be kind to Easts this weekend I imagine.
St Lucia has been a hard stronghold to crack over recent years and Saturday was no different.
Simply put, Coach Pat Byron’s team were outmatched. They host the Bulldogs this week who will want to bounce back from a bigger mental than physical defeat against Souths.
Wests v Souths
After a line in the sand win against Brothers top dog Wests were hosting lowly Souths on a stunning Anzac Day afternoon in front of a heaving crowd for the Alec Evans trophy.
Despite not having the glut of super players from last week Wests started the game off well with winger Ilikena Vudogo getting two very Daugunu-esk turnovers.
Souths had trouble early on with playmaker Harry Leerentveld leaving in a sling forcing captain Luke Samoa to assume his duties
Souths scored first at the Kennel after Michael Siaki (first game of the year) drew multiple defenders for winger Leone Cama to cross over.
Misfortune struck Wests next with Jeral Skelton leaving the field after injuring himself playing on not realising play had actually stopped…
Following an intentional knockdown and yellow card for Reds halfback Moses Sorovi the Magpies scored through Xavier Vela-Tupuhi putting them ahead 12-0.
Not to be bested Wests pulled out a pretty bit of set piece that saw hooker Ethan Dobbins skip across in the tram tracks putting them within 5.
Souths quickly went back to the northern end where Sean Farrell grabbed one on the right wing then another after going untouched out of a maul minutes later putting souths ahead 26-7 at the break.
Moses Sorovi took a quick penalty tap putting Shea lalagavesi over for first points in the second and closing the gap to 14.
No look passing from the bulldogs gifted Leone Cama a 50m intercept second try with Luke Samoa going 4/5 on the tee giving Souths their final score of 33.
Front row substitute Bronson Fotualii offloaded beautifully putting Sorovi over under the cross bar and with eight minutes to go Carter Gordon drop kicked the extras. Wests trail by 14.
Fresh off the bench Callum Hicks got the crowd on their feet when he found five in the left corner after some slick hands from Jono Kent with three minutes to go.
Underdogs Souths clenched victory after Gordon missed the conversion and denied a bonus point when a last effort to score failed.
Souths have performed very well so far and do the simple things great. This win is their own line in the sand that will make future opposition take them seriously. They Square up against Brothers at home this weekend and will be in full flight.
Wests have one of the scariest teams in the competition, but you would not have known it on Sunday. They travel to Hugh Courtney this weekend and will be looking to bounce back.
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