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Schools of hard knocks go head-to-head

Devon Henson is expected to bolster Bond in the Brailsford-Brown Varsity Cup clash with UQ. 

Bond will take the fight to ladder leaders and defending premiers UQ this Saturday hoping to wrest back the Brailsford-Brown Varsity Cup.

The second-placed Bull Sharks will be looking for a third consecutive win in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition after beating Souths last weekend off the back of a superb defensive effort.

Head coach Grant Anderson has this week shifted focus to attack, imploring the team to take every opportunity that presents itself.

UQ’s dominance was on full display in a convincing 51-15 win over the Easts Tigers during Indigenous Round last week and they will be eager to continue the strong form.

“When playing UQ you have to challenge them at the breakdown and have the ability to defend for long periods of time,” Anderson said.

“We have looked at our skill execution around turnover attack and using the footy bit more; we were a bit one dimensional on the weekend.”

Bond is likely to welcome back experienced duo Devon Henson and Tyler Campbell who have both performed well in second grade over recent weeks.

The coaching staff will be sweating on the health of flyhalf Hayden Sargeant who was forced from the field with a calf strain against Souths. The side is waiting on the result of scans to the soft tissue injury in the hope Sargeant will be fit to play.

Bond Director of Rugby Luca Liussi confirmed Sargeant faced a stint on the sidelines.

“It’s a real shame for Hayden, he’s settled in and found some consistent form and has been playing really well and kicking really well,’’ he said.

“We don’t know the extent of it yet and we’re hoping for the best, but he certainly won’t be available this weekend and is likely to miss multiple weeks.’’

The Brailsford-Brown Varsity Cup, contested every time the two clubs face off, is named after current Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford who was instrumental in the inception of Bond University Rugby Club in 2014.

University of Queensland is represented on the trophy by Bruce Brown, the current chairman of UQ Rugby Football Foundation and a former player and coach for UQ.

The rivalry between the two university clubs is legendary and Bond will be hoping to return the cup they last won in 2020 to The Canal after UQ took the win in 2021.

There was no extra motivation needed, Anderson said.

“It"s massive for us. The boys are pretty fired up to get there and play some really good rugby.

“We instigated the cup and have made it a real focus point. we want to win every bit of silverware we can.”

The Battle of the Scholars kicks off at 3:05pm at University of Queensland and can also be viewed live on Stan Sport.

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