By Jordan Hughes
Bond University takes on rivals UQ in a titanic match-up at the Canal on Saturday. The Bull Sharks are coming off back-to-back wins and are ready to deliver at home.
The Bull Sharks will be wearing their Indigenous jerseys for the match of the round which will be broadcast live on 9Gem, kicking off at 3:10pm.
LAST TIME THEY MET
It was back in round 7 when these sides last met and it was heartbreak for the Bull Sharks, going down 31-28 at St Lucia.
Bond had a chance to draw the game in the final minutes but a costly lineout error allowed UQ to secure the win.
WHERE IT WILL BE WON
Bond University defence coach Andrew Fraser was pleased with his side’s attack coming to fruition against Souths on the weekend.
“We scored plenty of tries, showing our attack focus is working well,” he said.
“Defence-wise we let in two tries in the second half which was disappointing, but that’s given us an opportunity to sharpen our axe heading into match-ups with high quality opponents in the coming weeks.”
Fraser said his squad is champing at the bit for the tough contests coming their way.
“It’s just about focusing on the job at hand and rising to the challenge ahead,” he said.
UQ has cemented a spot in the top two and with a dozen Super Rugby regulars in their ranks, will be tough to beat.
Fraser said the visitors would attack from all angles and the Bull Sharks could not afford to be complacent in the face of UQ’s strength and speed.
“We’ll be working on our D-zone defence, an area we are always looking to sharpen up,” said Fraser.
“We’re also fine-tuning our attack strategies, looking to isolate a few UQ players and put the sword to them.”
With the departure of forward Matt Dalton who has headed back to England to begin pre-season with the Newcastle Falcons, Devon Henson is tipped as the man to fill the void. The 120kg South African made an immediate impact last week coming off the bench against Souths.
Henson scored two tries last time the two universities met and will be eager for a big performance. Captain Dan Boardman is pushing for a return to the side after missing the last two weeks and will undergo a fitness test later in the week.
ONE TO WATCH
Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, who joined the side from the Fijian Drua after the Super Rugby season, has been a good fit in the Bull Sharks backline. Samusamuvodre, who has scored three tries in two weeks and had a hand in setting up many more, will be looking for another big performance this weekend.
Fraser said he’d been pleased to see huge improvements from the big men up front and expects more of the same this week.
“In the forward pack the big improvers have been George Blake and Zane Nongoor and they have been getting better each week,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them taking on some fellow Reds teammates on Saturday.”
IF WE WIN/LOSE
Bond currently sits fifth on the ladder and a bonus point win against UQ could push the Bull Sharks to as a high as third, depending on other results. A loss could see Bond drop to sixth, putting their finals hopes at risk.
MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Colts Two – 9:30am
Third Grade – 10:50am
Colts One – 12:10pm
Second Grade – 1:30pm
First Grade – 3:10pm – Live on Stan Sport & 9Gem
Premier Women’s – 4:50pm