The final round of regular season games took place on the weekend with some of the tightest games of the year taking place. Friday saw the game of the round take place in Charters Towers with the Bulls taking on the Burdekin with the winner cementing a place in the final 4. Friday also saw Brothers take on University in both teams’ final game of their season. The final game of the round took place at Mike Carney Toyota Park with North Ward taking on the LARCS with the winner locking down 2nd place.
Charters Towers V Burdekin
The first game of the round took place in Charters Towers last Friday night with Burdekin travelling out to Charters Towers to take on the Bulls in one of the biggest matches in the clubs’ rivalry. The winner of this match would go through and lock up a place in the TDRU final 4 and have a chance of contesting for the Grand final in a few week’s time. As expected, the game was physical with both side exchanging blows throughout the early stages of the match. The Canetoads were first to score with a penalty goal to flyhalf Xander Barnard. In typical Bulls fashion, the men from the country are known for never giving up and fighting to the last whistle. A penalty kick from Charters Towers reserve back Josh Robins levelled the scores with very little time left on the clock, however, it was enough to send Charters Towers into their first finals series since returning to the A-grade competition 3 years ago. Final score was 3-3.
Burdekin – 3 (Xander Barnard 1PG)
Charters Towers – 3 (Josh Robins 1PG)
Brothers V University
Friday night also saw the return of senior rugby to Mike Carney Toyota Park with Brothers taking on University. With both sides now out of finals contention, this would be their last game of the season. University as expected came out of the blocks firing mounting some early phases and troubling the Brothers defensive line. After surviving an early onslaught, it was Brothers who were first to score with a counterattacking kick resulting in a try to second rower Rory Richardson. With the momentum of the game swiftly shifting in favour of Brothers, Prop Dan Rush was the beneficiary of a well worked team try before half time. After the break University came within metres of the Brothers try line on several occasions however the defensive efforts of Brothers where next level, turning the ball over from their opposition. A second half double to young outside centre Louka Demopolous all but sealed a final win of the season for Brothers 47-0.
Brothers – 47 (Daniel Rush 1T, Rory Richardson 1T, Joel McPherson 1T, Same Doyle 1T, Louka Demopolous 2T, Malakai Taufa 1T, 5C, Brittin Lockie 1C)
University – 0
North Ward V LARCS
The final game of the round took place on Saturday with North Ward and LARC’s locking horns for the final time in the regular season. With both sides coming off convincing winners in round 20 it was scheduled to be a blockbuster with the winner of this encounter locking up second place on the ladder. North Ward took their momentum from last weeks victory away in the Burdekin straight into this week’s encounter holding onto possession early and gaining ascendency over the LARCS after Joji Waqasaqa burrowed his way over the line to score the first points of the match. The second half saw North Wards captain Dan Withers complete a double for the match after a strong carry close to the line, this put North Ward in front 24-10. However, the LARCS were not going to give up and came home strong with two late tries in the last 10 minutes of the match with the final try scored by Dylan Johnson brought the LARCS within 2 points, with a Scott Doulis conversion from the sideline sealing a 24 all draw and LARCS taking 2nd place.
North Ward – 24 (Joji Waqasaqa 1T, Dan Withers 2T, Aisake Bukalidi 1T, Sam Delaney 2C)
LARCS – 24 (Josh Allen 1T, Blake Lotty 1T, Toutai Legar 1T, Dylan Johnson 1T, Scott Doulis 1C)
With the regular season fixtures now over, our attention now turns to the first week of finals commencing this week. In the major semi-final on Saturday, undefeated defending premiers Teachers West will head in as favourites against the LARCS who will be looking for a physical display as they go on the hunt for a major upset. In the minor semi-final on Sunday, North Ward will take on Charters Towers with both teams looking to stay alive in the competition with the loser of this game bowing out of finals contention. Be sure to head on down to Mike Carney Toyota Park and support your team.