28th June, 2016
In a staggering fall from grace, our Premier Grade suffered their worst loss of the season against Souths. The Magpies scored 10 tries in hammering our boys 62-17 in a repeat of their mauling at Yeronga in the first round. Alarm bells began ringing early, when a box kick was allowed to bounce and speedy Souths winger, Alex Ung, got the ball and evaded three Bond defenders in a 25m dash to the line.
Then big flanker Halaifionua crashed over in the left corner and did it again a few minutes later. Suddenly a team that had won 5 of their last 6 games was looking vulnerable. Like the Fijian Sevens team, Souths love to run from broken play and we were giving them every chance.
At least our scrum improved. After back-pedalling in the first round at Yeronga, our pack was not giving an inch. Osh Heffernan and “Bear” Holmes did a fine job and we actually snatched a tight head near Souths line and skipper Josh Fui scored a fine try, to stem the bleeding.
But enter Levi Aumua. The powerfully-built centre scored a hat-trick against us in the first round on his return from the Top 14 premiership in France, where he played for Bordeaux. Once again he looked unstoppable at Robina, pushing off tacklers and racing through the Bond defence for 2 tries. At halftime it was 35-5 and our finals hopes looked dashed.
It didn’t improve in the second half, as the Magpies, revelling in counter-attack from the open spaces, ran in 4 more tries. Cam Bracewell, in a welcome return, scored a determined try, as did Nick Turner, but we were simply outclassed.
If it’s any consolation, Magpies coach Brett Picone said at the post-match function that UQ had done the same to Souths a few weeks earlier, putting 60-odd points on them. It’s a funny competition, with Bond still in contention, thanks to losses by GPS and Sunnybank. We are still in 5th place and a win over Brothers next week will put us into the four.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephen Tremain
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