Townsville and District Rugby Union

Zambrero's First Grade Wrap up - Round  12

Round 12 of the TDRU Zambrero’s 1st grade competition was one of the most hotly contested in recent memory and all teams battled sides threatening to take each other’s positions on the TDRU ladder. At Warrina Park Teachers West hosted Brothers in a top of the table encounter with both teams only losing a game apiece to each other in the lead up to the weekend, whilst Ross River looked to avenge their loss to Charters Towers in the round previous where the Redskins handed the Bulls their first 1st Grade win since returning to the competition, ahead of Burdekin looking to remain in touch with the top two teams with North Ward standing in the way following their impressive performance against Teachers West the week before.

 Teachers West 33 (K Horwood 2t, G Morgan 1t, J Fletcher 1t, S Huppatz 1t, C Mason 4c) def Brothers 0

Brothers travelled to the Bulldogs home ground Warrina Park for the second time in a month on Saturday as the two sides clashed in a top of the table blockbuster. The previous encounter at the Vincent home ground of the Bulldogs was one way traffic in Brothers favour with the Butchers Stripes handing Teachers West their first loss of the 2017 season. This encounter however proved to be the opposite with the home team dominating from the outset. Spurred on by their dominant Scrum the Bulldogs gained ascendency over Brothers in the tight exchanges to lead at half time 12 points to nil. Veteran former Country Prop Chris Barlow was immense in leading the Bulldogs pack forward and their scrum dominance was evident when a Brothers front rower was given a yellow card for repeated scrum infringements late in the first half. Backrower Kit Horwood bagged a try scoring a double off the back of the strong scrum with Seamus Huppatz rounding out the try scorers in the forwards. Current Country Heelers flyhalf Josh Fletcher played well and bagged a try along with standout centre Gene Morgan who ran a brilliant line to cross the strip as well. Morgans centre partner Colby Masons boot proved deadly for the Bulldogs kicking 4 from 5 conversions. For Brothers despite being held to nil, Number 8 Michael Parker was their best around the park along with second rower Matt Fanning who both worked hard all game.

Ross River 30 (A Munro 1t, B Pearson 1t, J Curnow 2t, T Alexander 1t, P Vereakula 1c 1p) def Charters Towers 27 (J Robins 2t, J Day 1t, D Knuth 1t, S Knuth 2c 1p)

Ross River looked to bounce back from their last round loss to Charters Towers in the second meeting between the two sides this season. The Redskins lead early after a blind side raid off a strong scrum sent fullback Jay Curnow over for a try, but in the typical story of the match the Bulls bounced back straight after with a Redskins quick lineout finding the hands of Bulls flanker Jacob Day who scored an intercept try under the sticks to level the game up. The Redskins found their way into the Bulls half and a dominant Scrum saw Ross River Scrum half Alex Munro score in the corner to regain the lead. Some Ill-discipline from the Redskins towards the end of the first half saw Bulls Second Rower Josh Robins secure a lineout and go over in the corner as the men from the west took the lead again 14 points to 10. True to the seesawing fashion the match was played in, Ross River hit back with a quick tap sending Winger Ben Pearson over out wide followed by a penalty kick to put the Bulls under pressure. Charters Towers had the last say with Robins scoring a runaway try right on the stroke of half time to make it 17 – 20 in favour of Redskins. The start of the second half was an arm wrestle before midway through another scrum base move sent fullback Curnow over for the Redskins to extend their lead 25 points to 17. A quick tap from the Bulls saw the ball spread wide to winger Dylan Knuth who scored to put the Bulls back in the game 25 points to 23. Bulls Flyhalf Sam Knuth then looked to seal the deal with seconds left as a penalty kick sailed over for the Bulls to take the lead 26 – 25 before the Redskins scrum came to the rescue again with a scrum feed in the Bulls 22m finding the ball in reserve Redskins player Trent Alexander to steal victory after the final whistle. Number 8 Leo Pakome was a standout for the Redskins whilst Josh Robins was again the pick of the Bulls team.

North Ward 25 (D Withers 1t, A Chrisp 1t, B Thompson 1t, C Kennedy 1t 1c 1p) def Burdekin 21 (S Kennedy 2t 1c 3p)

The Second game at Mike Carney Toyota Park was also a see sawing affair that proved to be a nailbiter. North Ward Centre Connor Kennedy pounced on a Burdekin mistake early to run away and score under the posts to give the Old Boys the lead 7 nil. Ill-discipline gave the Canetaods a chance to hit back with Full back Shane Kennedy kicking a penalty then minutes later getting the last pass back inside from his brother Andrew to finish off a well worked try by the Toads that started on their 22m. With the Burdekin backs looking dangerous the Old Boys did well to hold them at bay for the next 20 minutes before the next points came from North Ward Centre Connor Kennedys boot to level the scores 10 all, followed shortly after by a Canetoad Penalty giving them the lead 13 points to 10 as it looked to head into Half time this way. North Ward had other ideas and after regaining to kick off some tight play saw reserve prop Brock Thompson muscle his way over on the stroke of half time to give the Old Boys the lead 15 points to 13.  Just after the Break it looked like everything was going North Wards way before a scrum base moved that looked to lead to a certain Old Boys try was intercepted by Toads Fullback Shane Kennedy who ran 100m to score and wrestle back the game for the Burdekin. Unfortunatly for the Canetoads supporters that would be the last time they lead as a strong scrum produced a try for North Ward midway through the second half, followed by another to veteran winger Angus Chrisp virtually off the kick off giving the Old Boys the advantage. The Burdekin team got close thanks to two more penalties from the boot of Shane Kennedy but the Old Boys hung on to win by 4 in their first victory over a top 3 team this season. Toads Winger Kennedy was the pick of the Burdekin side along with flyhalf and brother Andrew, whilst North Ward Scrum half Sam Bradley and flanker Scott Atkinson were the pick of the Old Boys side.

This weekend, another double header at Mike Carney Toyota Park sees Ross River face off against North Ward in the early game at 3pm with both teams looking to string wins together, whilst in the late game Burdekin take on Brothers in an important match for both teams kicking off at 4:30pm. Meanwhile Rugby returne west to Charters Towers with the Bulls hosting defending Premiers Teachers West at Dave Thomas Oval kicking off at 5pm.

For full draws and game times visit http://tdru.com.au/draws

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