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Club Corner: Manly, Wests, UWA, Royals sit atop the ladder as finals edge closer | Latest Rugby News

Club Corner is back once again to discuss the upcoming matches in clubland this weekend.

With Super Rugby over and international rugby a few weeks away, all eyes will be on club rugby this weekend to serve up your rugby fix. Fortunately, some excellent games will be on hand as the battle for final heats up!

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SHUTE SHIELD – ROUND TWELVE

It’s a good time to be a Marlins fan! After so many years of middling performances, following their win over Sydney Uni on campus last week Manly are sitting atop the ladder with a buffer, and with the business end of the season looming, are well placed to challenge for the title. It was a good weekend for Gordon and the Two Blues as well, who picked up vital wins to keep their title quest alive.

This weekend the big matches continue as Gordon hosts the Pirates, Eastern Suburbs welcome Randwick, Warringah hosts the Woodies, and Sydney University make the journey up to the Hunter.

Match of the Round – Norths v Manly

Manly take the match of the round for two weeks in a row, and with good reason. After beating Sydney Uni at home last week, they travel to one of the hardest places in the comp to win, up the A8 to North Sydney Oval. Norths have been in solid form, however they are still to set the competition alight this year. Given the growth of the Marlins, the Shorman have an excellent opportunity to really shake up the ladder and super charge their season with a critical win!

Other Fixtures

Gordon v West Harbor

Souths v Two Blues

Eastern Suburbs v Randwick

Warringah v Eastwood

Hunter Wildfires v Sydney Uni

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Rising Player

Winger Christian Kagiassis has certainly left an impression in this years season for Souths, having served as a critical attacking weapon for the Rebels and grabbing an incredible nine tries for his efforts. While the men from Forshaw Rugby Park have been still to fully click this season, there is no denying the talent that is emerging across the competition, especially with finishers like Kagiassis!

QUEENSLAND PREMIER GRADE – ROUND TEN

It’s been a chaotic fortnight in Brisbane Premier Rugby, with Wests now overtaking UQ at the top of the ladder following GPS’ thrilling win over the weekend. Last weekend also saw Easts put on a commanding display over third placed Bond Uni, and Brothers sneak home against a relentless Sunnybank. It’s unpredictable times indeed!

This weekend will see a round of absolute thrillers which will likely determine the makeup of the final ladder, as the two resurgent sides in Sunnybank and Easts clash, Souths play host to Norths, and GPS and Brothers play out a thrilling contest to determine their title. credentials

Match of the Round – Wests v UQ

Wests are at home this weekend, and finding themselves with at the top of the ladder have a golden opportunity to create some much-needed breathing space, especially in context of the other matches this weekend. A statement also needs to be made by this team over UQ, with the Red Heavies having dispatched them on several occasions over the last few seasons. UQ may have dropped their last two games, but they still sit in a second in the ladder for a reason and aren’t the sort of club that stays down for long. It’s statement time!

Other Fixtures

Sunnybank v Easts

GPS v Brothers

Souths v Norths

Bond University – BYE

Rising Player

Veresa Mataitini was in a statement making mood for GPS over the weekend, providing a lightning attack weapon that grabbed a double over the Red Heavies, firing up the Galloppers in scintillating fashion. While the big man did suffer a hamstring injury, he should recover in time he’ll be a name to watch come finals.

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FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE – ROUND ELEVEN

With two rounds to go until the competition splits, the lower grade teams are all guns blazing to sure up their finals placing. UWA has taken a likely unassailable lead following their demolition of Joondalup, and with second placed Wests Scarborough having the bye, it is unlikely third placed Nedlands and fourth placed Wanneroo will be able to catch them, especially if they win this weekend.

UWA do have a tough assignment this weekend as they host an Associates’ side desperate to hold onto their top eight position. In other games Nedlands host Palmyra, who are also clinging on to their finals pacing, Kalamunda host Wanneroo, and Perth Bayswater look to sure up their top six position with a strong performance over Rockingham.

Match of the Round – Southern Lions v Cottesloe

Ninth hosts Fifth in what will be a thrilling encounter this weekend, and it couldn’t come at a more critical time for both sides. The Seagulls have recovered well in the last few weeks to keep their premiership defense alive, however they are far from firing on all cylinders, making a win here all the more important for maintaining momentum. For the Lions, it’s simple: win at all costs. The growth of this team has been incredible to watch this season, and given that growth it would be fitting to be rewarded with a finals place. It’s time they show that they can really pick up some big scalps!

Other Fixtures

Kalamunda v Wanneroo

ARKS v Joondalup

UWA v Associates

Perth Bayswater v Rockingham

Nedlands v Palmyra

Wests Scarborough – BYE

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Rising Player

Hendrik De Wet has been in roaring form in the second row for Palmyra, getting stuck into the dirty work and showing himself to be an imposing figure in the scrum. With finals on the line, expect him to be a better driver this weekend in their clash against Nedlands!

JOHN I DENT CUP – ROUND NINE

Round Eight served up three thrilling clashes in the John I Dent Cup, with Tuggeranong sneaking home over a strong Queanbeyan side, the Royals getting out of jail against the Owls, and Gungahlin sneaking home by a single point after getting ambushed by the Penrith Emus, denying them their first win in the competition.

This weekend sees the Emus, Royals and Vikings on a bye, however four teams will still do battle in the capital, including Uni-North Owls welcoming the Gungahlin Eagles.

Match of the Round – Wests Lions v Queanbeyan Whites

The other clash of the round, this match looms as a critical fixture for Wests. The Lions have shown potential throughout the season, however have slipped off the pace on multiple occasions, and with a big run looming after this fortnight of reduced rounds, a win is critical. The Whites meanwhile have been in excellent shape despite going down last week, and are in a brilliant position to push a guaranteed final position should they maintain form this week.

Fixtures

Uni-Norths Owls v Gungahlin Eagles

Wests Lions v Queenbeyan Whites

Rising Player

Number Eight Allan Wratten played a critical role for Royals in their win over Uni-Norths last week, producing a man of the match performance! It caps off what has been a strong few weeks for the loose forward, and considering his growth it bodes well for the Royals as they look to consolidate their position at the top of the ladder!

DEWAR SHIELD – ROUND EIGHT

The Dewar Shield enters the second half of the season this week, and following round seven we should be set for an explosive run home, with the Unicorns and Harlequins posting big wins, the Rams keeping their season a live with a win over Power House, and Footscray finally getting back in the winners circle with a win over Melbourne Uni.

This weekend, the Unicorns host Endeavor Hills, Moorabbin welcome Footscray, and Harlequins face the dark horses of the competition in Melbourne Uni.

Match of the Round – Power House v Box Hill

Both teams come into this match in very similar positions, having shown great promise but still to yield the wins and challenge for finals. With time now not on their side, it’s a case of go hard or go home, and both teams will look at this as a great opportunity to kickstart some form.

Other Fixtures

Melbourne v Endeavor Hills

Moorabbin v Footscray

Harlequins v Melbourne University

COOPERS PREMIER GRADE – ROUND ELEVEN

Have competition points separate Brighton from the chasing pack as the Coopers Premier Grade heads into the back half of the season. Burnside and Elizabeth loom as the current major contenders, but given their losses over the last week they’ll have to step up if they want to stop the men from the coast.

This weekend Old Collegians travel to the Barossa, Brighton host Southern Suburbs, and Woodville face Onkaparinga.

Fixtures

Woodville v Onkaparinga

Port Adelaide v Elizabeth

Brighton v Southern Suburbs

Barossa v Old Collegians

Burnside v Adelaide University

TASMANIAN PREMIER GRADE – ROUND SEVEN

Launceston and Devonport are currently in a tight tussle at the top of the ladder in the Tasmanian Premier Grade, with Taroona and Burnie making a solid top four. This weekend the Lions welcome the Penguins, Burnie play Harlequins, Glenorchy engage in a tough assignment against Launceston, while UTAS welcome the Bulls.

Fixtures

Hobart Hutchins Lions v Taroona Penguins

Burnie Emus v Harlequins

Glenorchy v Launceston

UTAS v Devonport

Enjoy your weekend, and be sure to get out to clubland and support your local club.

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