Round 17 of the Well Hung Glass and Aluminium 1st Grade competition brought the heat, with some big wins around the grounds. At Mike Carney Toyota Park the first game of the round took place, with Charters Towers travelling to town to play 1st placed Teachers West in their bid to cause an upset. Also at Mike Carney Toyota Park in the main game, Brothers looked to keep the ball rolling after their win away from home a week earlier, playing North Ward, who hoped to rebound from their loss and get back to their winning ways, after their 5 game win streak was snapped in round 16. The final game of the round saw the Burdekin make a big trip to Ingham to play against JCU, who’s form looks to be improving towards the end of the season.
GAME 1: TEACHERS WEST VS CHARTERS TOWERS
Undefeated Teachers West welcomed Charters Towers to town in a highly physical match up, with both teams no strangers to heavy contact. In the opening minutes of the game it seemed the sides were evenly matched with both kicking for dominant field position. Teachers West struck first after swinging the ball wide to Winger Nick Poole for him to score in the corner. Charters Towers were next to hit back through Billy Mitchell after the Bulls managed to string some phases together on the Teachers West line. However, from there on Teachers West ramped up the pace launching a full attack on the Charters Towers defence, led by Flanker Martin Brennan and Fly Half Tom Vinson. Winger Nick Poole pick up another try. Second Rower Ben Kennedy sliced through the defence on numerous occasions, grabbing a double. Even with Charters Towers Flankers Billy Mitchell and Joey Cram having great games, Teachers West finished the game with another big win, 51-7.
Teachers West 51 (B Kennedy 2t, N Poole 2t, J Fletcher 1t 3c, H Huppatz 1t, H Willocks 1t, R Gillespie 1t) def Charters Towers 7 (B Mitchell 1t, 1c).
GAME 2: BURDEKIN VS JCU
The Burdekin boys made the long trip to Ingham, looking to make a return to their winning ways after going down in a tough game to the LARC’s in round 16. Matching up against JCU, who were yet to win a game in 2019, but with the uni making improvements every week it was set to be an interesting game. From the get-go it was evident the travel did not phase the Burdekin, with them being able to impose their game plan and shut down JCU in all aspects of the game with the Burdekin managing to run in 8 tries. Halfback Damon Hesp added to his try tally for 2019, picking up one. Forwards, Brendan Bunyun and Ivo Angelo Diciano Olivia both used their strength to bowl themselves over the line. The Cane Toads also had the ability to play wide, exploiting the space with Fullback Matthew Lunn scoring twice. After having an outstanding game, Hooker Logan Matai picked up a double for his efforts. A hard-fought game from JCU second rower Lachlan Herniman wasn’t enough to stop the Burdekin who won 51-0.
Burdekin 51 (L Matai 2t, M Lunn 2t, I Angelo 1t, B Bunyan 1t, D Hesp 1t, C Griffin 1t, X Barnard 3c) def JCU 0.
GAME 3: BROTHERS VS NORTH WARD
After a great 1 point win against Charters Towers away from home, Brothers were excited to stay in the winning books, coming up against North Ward who suffered a tough loss to Teachers West a week earlier. It was Brothers who imposed their game plan, taking control of the game, playing some great rugby. But, with North Wards great organisation in defence, they were able to hold out Brothers for the first 20 minutes until Brothers Hooker, Karl Raffe used his strength to crash over the line, finishing off a slick line out move. After a big game Halfback Dexter Anderson fooled the defence with a dummy from 5m out for him to go untouched and score. A solid line from inside centre Will Gallegos saw him score to extend Brothers lead. North Ward closed in on the Brothers line and after putting pressure on their defence, numerous penalties were given, leading to a penalty try for North Ward. But a great game from Brothers second row Matt Fanning and Halfback Dexter Anderson, denied North Ward of getting any momentum, with Brothers winning 19-7.
Brothers 19 (D Anderson 1t 1c, K Raffe 1t, W Gallegos 1t, M Rauch 1c) def North Ward 7 ( 1pt).
This weekend, on Friday night, Burdekin will come to town to face off against Brothers with both teams looking to keep their winning form on a roll at Mike Carney Toyota Park. On Saturday, The LARC’s will come out fresh off the bye to verse undefeated Teachers West at Bindal Sports Grounds in a highly contestable match up. The Final game of the round will see North Ward make the trip to Ingham to play JCU. Be sure to get to your nearest games and watch some great 1st Grade Rugby.