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Bull Sharks have a record 4 teams in finals

Bond University Rugby Club will join the finals road after lockdown with four teams in the 2021 deciders. PICTURE: Stephen Tremain

 

By Pat McLeod

The Queensland Rugby Union’s decision to move its premier Brisbane competitions straight into finals after lockdown has come as a bitter/sweet result for the Bond University Rugby Club.

The Bull Sharks will have a record four teams in the finals, however First Grade will not be one of them.

Bond teams - Premier Women (4th), Second Grade (2nd), Colts 1 (4th) and Colts 2 (4th) - are in the finals. First Grade were in fifth place, with two rounds to be played, and still with a mathematical chance of making the finals. However, the QRU’s decision means First and Third Grades will now be looking on from the sidelines in the 2021 finals.

Bond Director of Rugby Luca Liussi said although he was extremely disappointed for the club’s Premier Grade, he was also very proud of what the club had already achieved in 2021.

“We had three teams in the finals last year, so to have four this year, and with the Firsts so close, it shows the growth and depth we have at our club,” he said.

 A QRU statement released today says:

In consultation with Queensland Rugby stakeholders, the QRU Board approved the decision for the 2021 QPR regular season to be concluded for an immediate Finals Series at the earliest convenience to maintain the current Grand Final schedule at Suncorp Stadium.

This decision requires the following actions:

• 1st Grade, 2nd Grade and Women: Rounds 17 and 18 are cancelled and the competition points for Rounds 17 and 18 are allocated as per the procedure for a cancelled fixture.

• Colts 1: Round 18 is cancelled and the competition points for Round 18 are allocated as per the procedure for a cancelled fixture. The outstanding Round 17 fixture between Bond University and Brothers will be regarded as a cancelled fixture with competition points allocated as per the procedure for a cancelled fixture.

• 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Colts 2 and Colts 3: Round 18 is cancelled and the competition points are allocated as per the procedure for a cancelled fixture.

Pending the lifting of the restrictions for lockdown areas of South-East Queensland on the Queensland Premier Rugby competitions, the finals will proceed as follows:

• Lockdown is lifted on Sunday 8th August 2021 – the finals will proceed as currently planned and published.

• Lockdown is lifted on Sunday 15th August 2021 – the preliminary finals will be removed with the semi-finals restructured to a 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 elimination finals. The Grand Final will proceed as currently scheduled at Suncorp Stadium.

• If the lockdown is extended beyond Sunday 15th August 2021 – the QRU will consider the status and options for all QPR competitions.

Bond Head Coach Grant Anderson said the club’s focus would now be on supporting the four teams in the final.

“We have four teams in the finals and I have been working with the leadership group around what we can do to support that group in the finals campaigns,” he said.

“The response has been overwhelming from the players. There will be busloads of players and supporters going up for these finals games. These finals are an enormous step forward for the club and there is a great desire from the First Grade to give these teams as much support as possible.

“One of the great highlights for me this season was an away game at GPS a month ago. First Grade stopped their warm-up and went and watched Second Grade and supported them as they scored a try in the last minute to win the game.

“That is where we are now as a club.”

Anderson said he was very disappointed for the First Grade players having missed out on the chance to force their way into the top four in the final two cancelled rounds.

 “I am very disappointed for the players, and the staff, of First Grade,” he said.

“They have worked so hard, given so much, sacrificed a lot. I have been really struggling with how the players are feeling. I know how much they really wanted to finish the season and represent the club well in these last two games and make the finals.”

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