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Club Corner: surprise results sets stage for thrilling run home | Latest Rugby News

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

The final fortnight of the regular season kicks off in Sydney and Melbourne this weekend, with finals placing up for grabs in all other comps off the back of several surprise results nationwide.

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SHUTE SHIELD – ROUND SEVENTEEN

The penultimate round of premier grade rugby kicks off this weekend in Sydney, and it feels like only yesterday that we were kicking off round one! Round Sixteen saw several notable surprise results, with Wests and the Two Blues playing out a 21-all draw, Warringah grabbing a surprise win over Manly, and Eastwood prevailing over Sydney University.

Consequently, Northern Suburbs find themselves heading into this round with a three-point lead at the top of the table. This weekend they face the Two Blues, Randwick welcome Eastwood to Coogee Oval, and Warringah look to continue their rise up the ladder when they play Southern Districts.

Match of the Round – Gordon v Manly

The Marlins have endured a tough couple of rounds over the last few weeks, and while they are unlikely to miss out on finals, the lack of positive results has been concerning. This weekend they face the current premieres, who sit outside the top six by a very slender margin. Gordon have had a much more mixed bag in 2022, however given they are the title defenders it would be a huge shock to not see them at least in finals contention, so a win here is vital for the Stags.

Other Fixtures

Warringah v Southern Districts

Randwick v. Eastwood

Eastern Suburbs v Hunter Wildfires

Northern Suburbs v Two Blues

Sydney University v West Harbor

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Rising Player

Sateki Latu was the absolute standout in the 100th derby between Warringah and Manly, putting in a commanding performance in the front row and being rewarded for his efforts with a hat-trick! Few things are more beautiful than a prop with slick hands!

QUEENSLAND PREMIER GRADE – ROUND FOURTEEN

A round of commanding performances and surprise results, Round Thirteen was always going to be a pivotal weekend of rugby in the Hospital Challenge Cup this year. GPS, Wests and Brothers all got the job done to keep a hold of their positions at the top of the ladder, but the biggest surprise was Norths finally breaking the duck with a 24-21 win over Easts.

This weekends Brothers find themselves back in first place. Wests take on Sunnybank, and Bond Uni look to breathe life into their final chase when they take on Norths.

Match of the Round – Brothers v UQ

The Red Heavies looked to be back in form before heading into their bye in round thirteen, and with only four rounds of the regular season to go after this weekend, they need to push to climb out of fourth place and put some distance between them and the chasing pack. After chasing Wests for the last few rounds, the Brothers are finally at the top of the ladder and now face their biggest test before finals. A win here against the defending champs would be critical in their quest for their first title in six years.

Other Fixtures

Easts v Souths

Wests v Sunnybank

Bond University v Norths

GPS-BYE

Rising Player

Sau Vaihu put forward a compelling case of showing how strong the depths at lock are in Queensland, in a clinical performance for Wests. Putting strong showings in both set piece and in open play, he was also rewarded with a try for his efforts from him.

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FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE – ROUND FIFTEEN (DIVISION ONE)

Round Two of top division kicks off this weekend, following a surprising opening weekend that saw last place Associates beat Cottesloe, Wests smash UWA, and Perth Bayswater pick up a critical win over Nedlands.

While most of the lower rank teams have drawn first blood, a lot of things can happen between now and Round Eighteen.

Match of the Round – Perth Bayswater v UWA

At the risk of putting the commentators curse upon them, Perth Bayswater fired a dangerous warning shot to the rest of the competition last weekend, and they have a fantastic opportunity to stamp their authority on this final series if they can pull off a win over the current premiers. UWA were shown up convincingly against Wests, so they need to turn things around this weekend and cannot afford to drop another game and further damage their finals run.

Other Fixtures

Associates v Nedlands

Wests Scarborough v Cottesloe

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Rising Player

Shoutout to Sam George over at Perth Bayswater what has been a solid performance in the back line throughout the 2022 season. The young winger has shown great growth throughout the season, and his unpredictability has been a major factor in giving Perth serious go forward in attack.

JOHN I DENT CUP – ROUND FOURTEEN

Only three rounds remain in Canberra, which means that many teams are now running out of time to catch the Canberra Royals at the top of the ladder. Round Thirteen saw massive blowouts and surprise upsets, With the Royals and the Owls demolishing the Lions and Emus, while Gungahlin shocked the Queanbeyan faithful with a 40-17 win.

This weekend the Eagles will look to continue their form against the Emus, while Uni-Norths welcome Tuggeranong.

Match of the Round – Queenbeyan Whites v Wests Lions

Currently, a six point gap separates West Lions from a finals position, but that could potentially balloon out to more should they go down to Queanbeyan. The Whites have shown glimpses of real potential throughout the season, and while many might expect that growth to be rewarded by making finals, there are still plenty of rounds for that to go wrong!

Fixtures

Uni-Norths Owls v Tuggeranong Vikings

Gungahlin Eagles v Penrith Emus

Canberra Royals – BYE

DEWAR SHIELD – ROUND THIRTEEN

Round Twelve officially confirmed the pecking order, With Harlequins, Moorabbin and Melbourne all guaranteed a finals placing. Harlequins also looks set for a guaranteed home semi final, off the back of them holding a seven point lead at the top of the ladder. The race for the last semi final placing is up for much more debate, with Endeavor Hills and Melbourne University still a chance to unseat Power House.

Power House can eliminate that option this weekend and shut the door on any further challengers if they pull off a win over Melbourne. Footscray and Box Hill face-off in a battle of the cellar dwellers, while Endeavor Hills and Melbourne University play for their seasons this weekend.

Match of the Round – Moorabbin v Power House

It now becomes a game of numbers this weekend in the Dewar Shield, and this could loom as a potential grand final clash between second and first. A win for Harlequins guarantees the minor premiership and a home final, while the Rams can stave off a late push from Melbourne and be guaranteed a home final. Essentially, there is all to play for here!

Other Fixtures

Melbourne v Power House

Endeavor Hills v Melbourne University

Footscray v Box Hill

COOPERS PREMIER GRADE – ROUND FIFTEEN

Round Fifteen sees the Barossa travel to face Brighton, Port Adelaide welcome Burnside, Elizabeth host a resurgent Old Collegians team, Onkaparinga play Adelaide Uni, and Southern Suburbs host Woodville.

Fixtures

Brighton v Barossa

Port Adelaide v Burnside

Elizabeth v Old Collegians

Onkaparinga v Adelaide University

Southern Suburbs v Woodville

TASMANIAN PREMIER GRADE – ROUND ELEVEN

Only three rounds in the regular season remain down in Tassie, with Devonport facing the Harlequins, the Lions taking on the Students, Launceston hosting Burnie, and the Stags welcoming the Penguins.

Fixtures

Devonport v Harlequins

Hobart Lions v UTAS

Launceston v Burnie Emus

Glenorchy v Taroona

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

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