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Bull Sharks face tough test in season opener

Connor Pritchard
Connor Pritchard starred for Bond last time they faced the Bulldogs 

Rugby kicks off this weekend with a tough start for the Bull Sharks. 

Here's the three things you need to know.  

The 2023 Queensland Premier Rugby season has finally arrived with round one throwing up a huge challenge as the Bull Sharks head to hostile territory to face 2022 premiers the Wests Bulldogs.

After another gruelling preseason there’s plenty to be excited about for the season ahead. 

Last time we met

It was round 13 in a packed house for Ladies’ Day at The Canal with Bond going toe to toe with the heavyweights. They eventually went down 20-15 in a nail-biting finish after being held up twice over the line in the final 10 minutes.  

Captain Dan Boardman and flanker Connor Prichard performed strongly that day and will again be a part of 2023 campaign.

Expect another bruising and close encounter this weekend against the Bulldogs.

Get excited 

Bond has possessed one of the most threatening backlines in the competition over the last several seasons and will again look to play an expansive style. Bull Sharks rugby is sure to bring fans to their feet with a mobile and robust forward pack and speed to burn out wide. 

Assistant Coach Damon Virtue has empowered the team to express themselves on the field.

“Expansive rugby is a part of our brand, but we are aiming to build more layers onto that with our skillset in terms of playing in the right areas of the field and showcasing our physicality,” he said. 

The Bull Sharks scored long-range tries with ease in 2022 so don’t miss a moment when Bond are on the attack.

One to watch

Rhian Stowers has returned to Bond in 2023 after a stint in rugby league and the electric outside back is set to deliver a real X-Factor for the Bull Sharks with his ability to play multiple positions in the backline.

“Rhian had a really successful 7s season and comes into the new year fit and firing, so watch out for him to make a big impact,” Virtue said.

The Queensland 7s representative has the footwork and poise that is the envy of most Premier Rugby players and he will look to cause plenty of damage to the Bulldogs’ defence.

The first-grade side will kick off at 3:05pm at Sci Fleet Stadium in Toowong followed by the Premier women who begin their title defence at 4:45pm.

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