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Zambrero’s 1st Grade Wrap Up – Round 5

The weekend’s 1st Grade games were all close affairs with Teachers West taking on Premiership Hopefuls North Ward and Brothers facing 2016 Grand Finalists Burdekin in Ayr, both on Friday night. Saturdays only match at Mike Carney Toyota Park saw the Charters Towers Bulls charging towards a Maiden 1st Grade win since their re-entry in the competition against a Ross River Redskins side searching for their second win in the competition. Click Read More to see the full wrap ups from the weekends games.

Teachers West 33 (M Brennan 1t, A McClymont 1t, A Tuala 1t, G Morgan 1t, R Seeto 1t, J Fletcher 4c) def North Ward 5 (D Withers 1t).

The last time these teams met in 2016 a dominant Teachers West side ran rampant posting a three-figure score line over a struggling North Ward side, the first time they would meet in 2017 would prove to be a much different storyline however the Bulldogs would still demonstrate their dominance over the TDRU competition. From the kick off a willing and physical contest ensued with the Bulldogs dominating possession for large periods and the North Ward defence holding strong early. The reigning premiers eventually wore down their opposition and scored the first try of the match right on the stroke of half time through centre Gene Morgan to lead 5 nil at the break. The Old Boys hit back immediately after the break with a try to backrower Dan Withers to even the scores. However, it was one way traffic from there as North Ward tired and the Bulldogs scrum began to dominate. It was off the back of this strong set piece that Teachers West scored four tries to seal the win 33 points to 5, the margin helped by super boot Josh Fletcher who kicked four from five in the match.

Brothers 24 (M Parker 2t, J Timbs 1t, A Pyper 1t, P Boniface 2c) def Burdekin 5 (A Kennedy 1t)

The Friday night game in Ayr saw a replay of last year’s Elimination Semi Final between Brothers and the Burdekin. Brothers were looking for redemption after being knocked out of the premiership race by the Canetoads a week short of the Grand Final in season 2016, whilst the Canetoads were searching for some of last year’s good form. But it was redemption Brothers Received dominating early in the tight play thanks to some big defence from backrowers Tevita Ma’ulu’ulu and Michael Parker to help them control possession and bag three early tries to lead 17 nil at the break. The Canetoads at home are always up for a battle and fought back in the middle period of the game with a try to fly half Andrew Kennedy giving them a sniff. But strong work at the breakdown from Ma’ulu’ulu against the tiring Canetoads saw Brothers hold on to seal a hard-fought win 24 points to 5 with Parker scoring a double alongside Jayden Timbs and Ayden Pyper who both scored one try a piece. The elusive win against the Canetoads at their home keeps Brothers nipping at the heels of Teachers West at the top of the ladder whilst the Toads are under pressure to crack the top two spots on the ladder before the end of the round.

Ross River 40 (J Tonu 2t, P Vereakula 2t 3c, A Batimala 1t, S Rabili 1t, J Curnow 2c) def Charters Towers 33 (M Burgess 1t 1c, T Kudub 1t, S Makie 1t, J Robins 1c, 2 PT).

The Redskins fought hard on Saturday at Mike Carney Toyota Park off the back of a win over Western Suburbs and a strong showing against Teachers West in the weeks leading in, whilst 1st Grade newcomers Charters Towers were hunting towards their first win of the season proving again they have the ability to score points. The Redskins dominated early in the tight with the Bulls struggling to contain the big ball runners from Ross River. The Redskins were in front heading into Half time but discipline nearly cost them in the second half with a number of yellow card offences committed for High Tackles gifting Charters Towers two penalty tries. Bulls number 8 Max Burgess bagged a try and was again one of the Bulls best along with Winger Tom Kudub and electric centre Samson Makie who also crossed the stripe. The Bulls have been progressing well each week proving the capability to score from anywhere, with their set piece and defence areas to improve on. Whilst Redskins Back Rowers Rickardt Daniell and Pelasio Vereakula were standouts with Vereakula scoring two tries and kicking 3 conversions in the 7-point win.

This week the Zambrero’s 1ST Grade Competition takes a two week break for Easter and for the NQ Championships being held in Townsville at Mike Carney Toyota Park on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of April. Make sure you get along to watch the Brolgas Under 19s, Mens and Womens against Mackay, Cairns and the Central Highlands on the TDRU’s 50th Anniversary Weekend. With plenty of tickets available for both its sure to be a fantastic weekend. Click here to see the Draw.

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