Bond University Rugby Club

THEY'VE DONE IT!!!!

8th August, 2017

Our Colts 1 team, averaging just 17 year of age, upset the bigger, more experienced Sunnybank 22-18 in today’s Minor Semi-final at Ballymore.   In a nerve-wracking game, Bond scored in the last minute to snatch victory over a Dragons’ side that towered over them in physical stature. It was a credit to the coaching of Damian Cahill and Mark Wallace and the cool, onfield leadership of Callum “Choz” Elliott.

In warm conditions Bond started brilliantly, scoring through block-busting hooker Kyle Cullen in the fifth minute.  A chip and chase saw Choz go close and there was no stopping the barnstorming Kyle close to the line.  It was 7-0.

With an advantage in possession and territory, as well as impenetrable defence, Bond dominated the first 20 minutes.   Riley Wilson and Austen Northey worked tirelessly in the pack, while Reece Tapine kept finding gaps in their backline defence.  A Sunnybank penalty reduced the lead to 7-3 but didn’t stop the momentum of the Gold Coast boys.  We earned a penalty of our own, 35m out, right in front and passed it up – failing to score from the ensuing rolling maul.  Memories came flooding back of last year’s Premier Colts Grand Final, where spurned penalty shots cost us a title.

However there was no stopping our pack, who rumbled their way close,  before another try came from a forward charge.  In true “Ben Hunt tradition” Kyle had his second and Bond led 12-3. 

Then came a tactical move from the Dragons, who brought two massive substitutes on before halftime.  If you thought Caleb Enoka was big, you should have seen these guys!  The plan worked as they smashed their way up-field and, from a centre-field scrum, they worked the classic move from number 8 to halfback.  We fell for it and they scored under the posts.  Leading just 12-10 at halftime, Bond supporters felt cheated.

The second half saw Sunnybank continue their momentum with a flood of penalties and almost all the set-piece possession.  We somehow held them out, with several near-tries saved through desperate defence.  It was hard to believe most of these players are still at school!   Another penalty was awarded in front and this time common-sense prevailed and Reece Tapine coolly slotted the 3-pointer.  Bond led 15-10.  

But Riley Wilson and Kyle Cullen both went off and, finally the pressure told.   Using their big men in the midfield, Sunnybank bashed their way into our quarter and their winger scored in the left corner, but they missed the conversion.  So the semi-final was locked at 15-all.

Continuing to dominate possession, Sunnybank was awarded another penalty, 35m out and at a wide angle. But, credit to their kicker, they got it and led 18-15 with only 5m to go.

As time ticked by Adam Wallace called Damian Cahill on the 2-way and yelled –

” We’ve got to get Riley back out there.  He’s a match-winner.”

Never a truer word.  The powerful number 8 has been nursing a painful foot injury for weeks, but immediately responded to the call.  A penalty took us into the Dragons’ red zone and several players went close with pick and drives.  But, sure enough, it was Riley who touched down in the final minute near the posts.  Reece slotted the conversion and the ref blew fulltime.  Bond had won 22-15.  (And this was against a team that had beaten them 81-0 in April!)

On the Main Field, Brothers beat University of Queensland 20-19 to move straight into the Grand Final.  So Bond will play UQ in the Preliminary Final next Saturday.

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