by Jordan Hughes
Bond University have cemented top spot on the Queensland Premier Rugby ladder with a 33-31 victory over the GPS Gallopers at The Canal.
How it unfolded
It was Past Players and Supporters Day and the Bull Sharks were ready to put on a show.
They made the perfect start after just four minutes when centre Kitione Taliga charged down a clearing kick to regather and streak away for the first five-pointer.
GPS quickly found their groove, scoring two quick tries through some disappointing Bull Sharks defence to take a 12-7 lead after 30 minutes.
The see-sawing nature of the contest continued when flanker Sam Kelly-Knowles got the rewards from a dominant Bull Sharks rolling maul.
Bond's Fijian cohort continued to produce, this time through Fijian Drua squad member Rusiate Nasove who did it all on his own, busting through the GPS defence and scoring untouched.
The game had a pulse when the Gallopers unbelievably scored two tries in three minutes before halftime to lead 24-21 at the break.
The second half saw the rapid pace maintained with both sides striking with another try each to make the score 31-28 to the visitors and set up a grandstand finish.
Bond once again kept their composure and in the 70th minute, flyhalf Tyler Campbell splintered his way through the GPS backline before firing the final pass to fullback Jayden Ngamanu who scored.
With GPS hot on the attack and trailing by two, it would come down to a final defensive effort from Bond to hold out the Gallopers. Enter replacement prop Meli Tuni who made a crucial tackle to force an error and secure another win for the Bull Sharks.
What they said
Front rower Rhys Sheriff had a mixed day, receiving a yellow card in the first two minutes of play before bouncing back to deliver an impressive performance up front for Bond in the tight contest.
"We certainly know how to make it hard for ourselves,” he said.
“We started off really well and then we let them back into the game, but we dug deep and found a way to win.’’
It was the second week in a row Bond were able to fight back to steal victory in the final 10 minutes of play which demonstrates an impressive level of composure for the youthful side.
"We had a clear intent and kept working hard for each other. There was no point where we ever thought we were down and out,” Sheriff said.
“We had some guys step up and make some big plays which lifted the entire group to close out the game in front of our home fans.”
Around the grades
Premier women had the week off due to a GPS forfeit while Colts One delivered a much needed 24-17 win to keep them within reach of the top four.
Bond will head up the M1 next week for a clash with the fourth-placed Souths Magpies who will be eager to continue the momentum from a sensational start to the season.
Colts two: L 41-24
Third Grade: L 24-14
Colts one: W 24-17
Second Grade: L 27-20
Premier Women: W - GPS Forfeit
First grade: W 33-31