July - August 2015

Townsville and District Rugby Union

Dudley Jones Cup Week 20

It was the final round of the Regular Season last week and although places had already been set in the standings, there was still plenty to play for with teams looking for form heading into the Finals this week. Action was found all over the region as North Ward Old Boys travelled to Ayr to play Burdekin, Ross River hosted Western Suburbs at Shark Park, and Teachers West and Brothers battled it out at Mike Carney Toyota Park.

A large crowd gathered in the Burdekin for their final game of the season, with Old Boys and Supporters travelling for a last look at this year’s team. The game didn’t disappoint as another close encounter, one we have come to expect from the two sides began. Early mistakes from Old Boys gave Burdekin opportunities, who using good, structured, running rugby were able to convert these opportunities into points, taking a 12-0 lead 20 minutes in. Powerful kicking from Shane Kennedy provided Burdekin with a Territory advantage throughout the half. The game settled in from then on and the North Ward Old Boys Pack set the platform for 2 tries through strong scrummaging and breakdown work. The teams went into the break with Burdekin ahead by a narrow 2 points.  Burdekin scored straight out of the gate with a great kick off and sustained pressure resulting in another try for the home team extending their lead to 17-10. It was all Old Boys from there on out however as they mounted a comeback that The Canetoads couldn’t withstand. Halfback-cum-Winger Freddie Woods nabbed a Textbook try, his second of the day, while Ash Rio kicked a challenging penalty to close the game out, North Ward Old Boys clinching a crucial victory 27-19.

Teachers West and Brothers battled for bragging rights when they faced off against each other in a top of the table clash. After suffering their first defeat this season to Brothers the Bulldogs were eager to take one back and ride the momentum into finals. Teachers West struck first with a penalty before a well-worked rolling maul extended their lead to 10-0. Brothers struck back closing the gap to 10-5. A fairly high error ridden game with flashes of brilliance from both teams they each traded tries early into the second half. Jack Payne crossed the line to further their lead while Josh Fletcher nailed a couple of conversions to put the gap at 16. A late surge by Brothers ensued, Tyron Harvey putting on some classy footwork to score his second try of the match and a last minute try in the far corner closed the margin. It was too little, too late however as Teachers West hang on for the win 26-20, dropping just one game in the regular season and finishing with 19 wins.

A desperate Ross River was searching for some sort of Form to carry them into their semi-finals berth after losing their last four games. Western Suburbs, still looking for their first win of the season had been playing some confident rugby and impressing in patches throughout the season. A tight tussle ensued with Ross River’s physicality punishing the younger Dragons side. A close affair in the first half, The Redskins gradually extended their lead throughout the second half. Great efforts to Kaleb Coventry and Taylor Bail sent Western Suburbs over the stripe and keep them within striking distance, but Ross River were just too strong for the boys in green, running out winners 47-15. This was an important victory for The Redskins and they will go into the finals with a lot more confidence in their play. A double and 6 from 7 conversions capped off a great night from Maciu Vatanitawake.

This week we head into the first week of Semi Final action! Teachers West and Brothers face off in the Major Semi on Saturday evening, while Ross River and North Ward Old Boys battle for a place in the preliminary final on Sunday. All games this weekend will be held at Mike Carney Toyota Park, so clear the schedule and make sure to catch some Finals Rugby in Townsville.


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