The Bull Sharks will take on the Sunnybank Dragons at Ballymore on Sunday to decide the Queensland Premier Women’s Rugby champions.
The women from Bond are looking to create history by claiming back-to-back premierships.
Last time they met
Just a fortnight ago, these two powerhouses went head-to-head in the major semi-final. Bond entered as underdogs but rose to the occasion, beating the previously undefeated Dragons 20-12.
It was a bruising encounter in the opening half with Bond’s smaller-framed forwards muscling up to the Dragons pack.
Bond then played to their strengths in the second half using speed out wide with wingers Dianne Waight and Charlize Ratu pivotal in securing the win.
Where will it be won
Versatile back Gabrielle Rivers reflected on the constant improvements the women's program has been able to achieve.
“It has been about continuing to develop what we implemented last year and the coaches having been really good at developing the game plan that suits us,” Rivers said.
“Having players that know their role and keeping their own individual standards has made it much easier for new players coming in.”
The Dragons took care of business in the preliminary final, defeating the University of Queensland 36-5 and the Bull Sharks know they will be looking for revenge.
“They will bring their physicality in both attack and defence so it will just be about who can dominate and implement their game plan best as we both play contrasting styles,” Rivers said.
The Premier Women have a chance to cement their own legacy at Bond University if they can secure back-to-back premierships, confirming the Bull Sharks’ position as the top female rugby program in the country.
“To win back-to-back would mean absolutely everything for the girls that have been with this squad from the start,” Rivers said.
“Our head coach Lawrence Faifua deserves so much credit for all the adversity we overcame to stick together and play for each other.”
The rookie and the veteran
The physicality between the two forward packs is going to set the tone for the match and it will be crucial for the Bull Sharks to take it to the Dragons from the opening kick-off.
However the skillset from the backline, especially two key players at opposite ends of their careers, could be a major factor in the result.
Georgia Grey in her first season at The Canal has the position of chief playmaker, wearing the number 10 jersey, which is a remarkable achievement in her first year playing 15s rugby.
Coming from a 7s background, Grey’s dominant running game and crisp passing will be the key to igniting the electric outside backs, so look for Grey to be a gamechanger on Sunday.
Caity Costello has been at the club since 2019 and has a long list of achievements with the Bull Sharks across 15s and 7s.
The former Queensland Red will offer leadership and direction from the midfield. Look for Costello to provide the tough carries when they are needed most and create space for her wingers down the edge.
Game day timings
9am: Bond University v Sunnybank Dragons – Ballymore Stadium
If you can’t get to the game, follow live updates on the Bond University Rugby Instagram account.