14th August, 2017
Our only team in the finals, Colts 1, bowed out in the Preliminary Final against UQ at Ballymore. There was only one change to the starting lineup that beat Sunnybank in the semi-final – Lachlan Boyce replacing Connor Wallace in the second row. Our boys, averaging just 17 years of age, did the club proud, but ran out of steam in the second half. They also had some bad luck, with inspirational captain and star fullback, Callum Ellio, sidelined after 15 minutes with a leg injury and blockbusting forward Kyle Cullen yellow carded in controversial fashion at a vital stage of the game.
On a steaming hot day at headquarters, Bond began confidently, playing on Ballymore number 1 for the first time. With a big crowd of supporters, UQ scored first though, with a well-worked backline move resulting in the first try on the right wing. The UQ number 11 was in again 5 minutes later, after sustained pick and drives and a clever long pass from the halfback. Down 12-0 it seemed Bond supporters were in for a tough time.
But one thing this young Bond side has is spirit and they fought back tenaciously. Keahn Tipu was held up over the line and then pocket-rocket Austin Northey darted over for the first try, unstoppable from 10m out. Will Chapman’s attempted conversion hit the post and rebounded, so it was 12-5.
UQ extended their lead with a pick and drive try from close range. It was scored by a big lad called Fergus Lillicrap, son of Wallaby prop, Cameron. When top tackler Bevan Reynolds went off with a head knock it looked grim for Bond. But once again our boys came back, No 8 Riley Wilson working the blind off a scrum and beating 3 defenders to score. From a handy position Connor McEldowney missed the conversion.
Just before halftime Bryce Catchpole, who’d just come on, chipped over the top of UQ’s backline and, following through, got a fortuitous bounce to score. But, once again, we couldn’t kick the goal. But at 15-17 down, it had been a remarkable comeback from such a young side.
Catchy was again in the thick of the action after the break, making a try-saving tackle right on the line. But we were penalized for offside in front of the posts and the penalty extended UQ’s lead to 20-15.
Once again Bond hit back, with hard-working lock Harry Hoy scoring after a great run by Riley Wilson. Our fourth try, but again no conversion. It was anybody’s game at 20-all. You got the feeling that the next team to score would win. Sadly, it was UQ, whose flanker ran across, then straightened through some tiring defenders to score. 27-20.
We had our chances – both Kyle and Keahn made clean breaks and failed to pass to an unmarked support. Kyle was given 10 minutes in the sin bin for a high tackle, which seemed overly harsh, as the player was already falling and contact was accidental. But it was the final nail in the coffin for Bond. UQ went on to score twice more and added a penalty for the final score – UQ 44 Bond 20. The score was no indication of the closeness of the battle and one thing is for sure – this Bond team will be a force to be reckoned with next year.
Congratulations to the whole squad and to coaches, Damian Cahill and Adam Wallace. Thanks to all the parents too, for your loyal support throughout the season. We’ll see you next year! (And fellas – practice your goal-kicking!)
The Bond University Rugby Club wish to thank our valuable 2017 Corporate PartnersAll Sponsors