Men’s First Grade: Bond 21 v UQ 38
Costly errors in attack and missed opportunities resulted in a second half fade-out as the Bond Bull Sharks First Grade men’s rugby side fell 38-21, away to University of Queensland on Saturday.
Coach Grant Anderson was confident going into the sheds 21-19 at half-time, however his side did not add to their tally in the second stanza while UQ showed why they are the competition front-runners.
“It was a tough day,” said Anderson. “But simply, UQ were very good at taking their opportunities and we made too many errors in attack.
“We had some bad luck through the match, so I am not too disappointed with how the boys played, but Uni are a very tough team to beat on the best of days and, at this level, every opportunity you get you have to take.
“UQ are the benchmark of the competition and we will learn a lot from that game. We need to be more ruthless in our execution. If we are able to do that, we will convert that into points more often and we will start to challenge teams.”
Anderson has taken positives from the game to put towards next weekend’s home clash with Wests on Ladies Day, at The Canal. Bond sit fourth on the ladder, a win behind Wests. In another interesting tussle next weekend UQ (1) clash with GPS (2).
“We are five games into 16 games. So, we are really in the mix, especially with other results today and with GPS and UQ, the ladder leaders, still to play each other,” he said.
“We will also start to get some injured players back from next week, which no doubt will strengthen us. And we are really looking forward to taking on Wests at home on Ladies Day.”
Anderson said there were plenty of good performers for the Bull Sharks on Saturday.
“Our best players were Connor Pritchard (7) and our Number Eight Nixon Taramai. It was also great to see Ronan Kapi and Kupi Ta’ala both get a start in first grade and neither looked out of place,” he said.
Anderson will be targeting the breakdowns as an area to work on this coming week.
“We will work hard on our breakdowns – we had nine penalties and four turnovers on our own breakdowns,” he said.
Overall, on Saturday, the Bull Sharks won two of six against UQ, with Women’s First Grade and Colts 1 victorious.
Here’s what each of the other Bull Sharks’ coaches had to say:
Women’s First Grade: Bond 26 v UQ 7
Women’s coaching director Setu Naseri:
“The whole team played very well. Our best were Jemma Bemrose (6), Lucy Lockhart (7) and Aleena Greenhalgh (8).
“The loose forwards played very well and the side was well led by a couple of the more experienced players – captain Madi Schuck (3) and Carola Kreis (5) – and centre Tay Bates also was very good.
“That win gets our 15s season back on track and we are now two wins and two losses. So, sitting at 50 per cent is a lot better ratio.
“Our pack was a real standout in this game and one of the pleasing things was that our leaders and more experienced players, who are still quite young, are really showing the way.
“Also, the team we have playing in the Queensland suburban league, who play under the Coomera Crushers’ banner, got up 56-0 against North Lakes.
“And one of the best players there was Akira Crocker.”
Men’s Second Grade: Bond 19 v UQ 26
Bond Second Grade coach Damon Virtue:
“That result was a little bit disappointing. This week we put a big focus on starting well, which we did. But towards the back end of the game we became complacent.
“We were up 14-0 at one stage, but we made some crucial errors, which UQ were very good at capitalising on. I think it just came a bit too easy at the start of the game and that hurt us.
“I don’t think fitness is the problem. I think it is a mental thing, where we switch off at stages.
“The focus has to be on putting teams under pressure for longer periods. Don’t take the foot off the throat when you have teams on the run. We had them under great pressure, but then we didn’t stick to the process and became too confident and made errors.
“The boys know we are good enough. A few of the boys went up to first grade, so it was a test of our depth.
“There were positives around our set piece today. Our scrum was putting them under huge pressure, which was very good.
“Our best were, up front, Manasseh Alaga (3), he was immense, our 6, Tylor Bunting, was very industrious and centre, Jack Finigan, was also very good.”
Men’s Third Grade: Bond 20 v UQ 27
Bond Third Grade coach Jai Johnson:
“That score was very disappointing. We should have won that. We allowed four tries that came off the back of back-to-back penalties. If you keep doing that you will not win footy games.
“Some of the problem is fitness and also not trusting teammates and the process that we have in place.
“The big plus was the turnaround in attitude from last week. We focussed on a couple of players who bring a lot of energy and mongrel and they did that.
“Best for us was Max Booth (7), Guy Walton (13) and Liam Lord (4), who brought real aggression throughout the game.
“We had a couple of key injuries in the game, losing our fullback, Suguru Tanaka early and he will be out for a while with a knee injury.
“We have injuries across the club, so that of course means back-filling from our grade up.
“We also had the inclusion of four new players from Fiji, who came off the bench. That will help. They are, Vilame Bonanuku, Jona Wesiniciba, Marika Rokotunaceva and Gaunadina Lowata.”
Colts 1: Bond 27 v UQ 14
Bond Colts 1 coach Brenden Jones:
“We will take that, although it was a little bit frustrating. We didn’t really sew it up until the end. Our set piece was not up to par today and so we put ourselves under a lot of pressure.
“Our defensive effort was magnificent. So, we got the win, but the boys realise we also have a lot of potential left in us.
“Best for us today was Nik Mitchell (6), winger Sam Gordon and Nate Searle (8).
“As far as looking ahead, we are in a four-week block where we are just focusing on learning, getting our structures into place. We just want to see progress each week and we believe that if we keep progressing with what we are doing we will get the wins we deserve.
“It is all about preparing ourselves for the second half of the season, so when we get there we have got our structure in place and we can add layers on top of that.”
Colts 2: Bond 7 v UQ 50
Bond Colts 2 coach Mick Barnao:
“The boys haver owned that result - that was pretty much the worst game we have played all season. We spoke a lot before the game about having a bit of mongrel at the breakdowns, be sharp and quick. But at this stage they are talking the talk, but on-field they are dropping off the pace and not stepping up.
“We came down on them a bit after today’s game and told them they have to have a good look within themselves - about coming to game day, turning up to training, training and playing with intent, at a high passionate level.
“But there is no doubt they are learning. And we now have an arrangement with Bond Pirates, so those players who did not get a lot of game time will turn out later the same day for Bond Pirates in the Gold Coast competition. So, they all get good game time.
“There are five or six players who are putting in 100 per cent every game. We need to increase that number each week.
“Our 10 Tom Maher had a really good game and led the team around well. Also, hooker Ryven Ewing was again a standout, taking the ball forward every time. Hunter Dare, a Colts 1 player, came back from injury with half a game and was a calming influence across the whole team.”