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Townsville and District Rugby Union

Zambrero's First Grade wrap up- Round 8

A triple header took place at Mike Carney Toyota Park on the weekend as all three 1st Grade matches were played at Hugh St for the first time this year. After four losses on the trot the North Ward Old Boys were looking to win their first against the ever-improving Charters Tower Bulls who are hunting for their first win in 1st grade this season. Meanwhile Ross River took on Brothers looking to make an improvement from last week after suffering a heavy loss to the defending premiers. Still looking to blemish Teachers Wests undefeated record for the season, Burdekin showed up ready to play against the Bulldogs. 

 

Brothers 24 (K Raffe 1t, M Fanning 1t, T Harvey 2t, J Gough 2c) def Ross River 7 (A Bukalidi 1t, P Vereakula 1c). 

A quality game of Rugby kicked off the afternoon with Ross River trying to bounce back after their loss last week. Pushing up fast and hard in defence, Ross River showed excellent team work and communication restricting the Brothers attack early. The Brothers attack soon took advantage of a lapse in concentration from the Redskins with Brothers working the ball up the field to be the first to score. From there the pressure mounted on the Redskins and back to back tries came from Brothers winger Tyron Harvey. With the score 24-0 in favour of Brothers it seemed like the match was over however Ross River still had some fuel in the tank with an excellent try scored by Aisake Bukalidi off the back of some fantastic Redskins play showing what they are capable of. Brothers youngsters Karl Raffe and Mat Fanning also crossed the stripe in the Bonus point win for Brothers.

Teachers West 29 (H Huppatz 1t, M Brennan 1t, N Norman 2t, J Fletcher 1t 2c) def Burdekin 5 (C Mann 1t).

The 2nd 2016 Grand Final rematch of the year was well anticipated with Burdekin brimming with confidence after a strong win against North Ward the week prior. However, Teachers seem ever so keen to remain undefeated after going 6 wins from 6 games since their last meeting with the toads. The first 10 minutes proved to be tight, both sides trying to gain the early advantage. The Bulldogs attacked the gain line, however, the Burdekin’s defence held firm in their own red zone in the early stages. Teachers West Dominated the Scrum set piece while Burdekin showed more class at the Lineout. The trademark Teachers West dogged defence was a highlight of the match for the Bulldogs supporters as they turned Burdekin’s possession and attack into turnovers and counterattack. Teachers wore down the Canetoads and led at halftime 3 tries to nil. Burdekin continued to chance their hand and play an expansive game in the second half but the Teachers defence held strong. Bulldogs tight forward Hugh Huppatz was yellow carded with 10 minutes to go which saw Burdekin capitalise with an extra man to score a fantastic try on the right wing to veteran Chris Mann. Whilst Teachers West tries went to forwards Huppatz, Martin Brennan and a double to outside back Nathan Norman finished off with a superb solo effort from Fly Half Josh Fletcher. Teachers remain undefeated as 29-5 victors while Burdekin were content with an improvement from their first meeting in round 1.

North Ward 23 (E Skien 1t, S Bradley 1t, A Chrisp 1t, C Kennedy 1c 2p) def Charters Towers 10 (J Robins 1t, S Knuth 1c 1p).

When two teams coming off the back of multiple losses face off against each other, you can expect an incredible match with high physicality. Neither team willing to give an inch, North Ward and Charters Towers both fought hard in the sometimes-scrappy affair. The entire game was back and forth with momentum, possession and field position with Charters Towers scoring a run away try to Second Rower Josh Robins to lead early despite the North Ward team dominating possession. Eventually the North Ward team wore down the Bulls with tries to scrum half Sam Bradley and Flanker Ed Skien. Thanks to a penalty kick from Bulls fly half Sam Knuth the score was narrowed to 16 – 10 proving a nervous final few minutes for North Ward before Centre Angus Chrisp snatched an intercept late to seal the win for the Old Boys 22 – 10. The Charters Towers team will be disappointed with the loss but can hold their heads high showing great improvement after their Round 1 meeting with North Ward.

 

This weekend sees the Bulls travel to the Burdekin to take on the Canetoads at home on Friday night whilst Teachers West host their first Home Game of the year at Warrina Park against Rivals Brothers. In the sole 1st Grade match at Mike Carney Toyota Park Ross River take on North Ward in a battle for a spot in the top four. For full draws and game times visit http://tdru.com.au/draws

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