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Bumper crowd expected for Brailsford-Brown Cup

Mick Heenan
Mick Heenan is excited to be up against his old club UQ. 

It’s always a huge day at The Canal when the Bull Sharks take on UQ in the Brailsford – Brown Cup.

Adding to the spice is coach Mick Heenan’s first clash against his old alma mater. There’s set to be a huge crowd to boost the atmosphere too with the Bull Sharks and Gold Coast breakers celebrating their past players day. 

Premier Men  

Last time they met:  

Round 16, 2023 at The Canal. 

Bull Sharks won 33-29.  

The opposition: 

UQ are a really talented side, their fullback Kye Oates should be playing Super Rugby. I can’t understand why he doesn’t have a contract. He is an absolute threat and one we will have to watch closely. They also have a talented forward and a good five eight who has been playing for them for a number of years. The are well rounded and we have to learn the lessons we have accumulated over the past few weeks if we want t be able to beat them.  

Shuffling the magnets: 

Nixon Tarami was our man of the match last week in his first game of the year. Unfortunately, he has a minor shoulder injury and is a long shot to play this weekend. Jake Upfield is likely to return to the starting side. 

One to watch: 

Rhian Stowers and Hamish Roberts have been a very good double act. If we can get our game going and maintain our discipline, we should be able to provide them with enough opportunities to win the game. 

The focus:  

We have to be able to capitalise on our field position and also learn to consolidate our leads. Working on ensuring we can maintain possession when we enter the attacking zone has been a high priority for us.  

Old mates: 

I’m just really looking forward to the day. I coached there for 14 years and also played there and I built a lot of very close friendships over that time. I am looking forward to catching up with a lot of them after the game.   

With Mick Heenan.  

Premier Women  

Last time they met: 

Rd 16, 2023 at The Canal.   

Bull Sharks won 21-10.  

The opposition:

UQ have always been a tough team for us to beat. With similar playing styles it’s always a big game. Their attacking style often mirrors our own and we certainly have to watch out for their strong ball carrying forward pack and the fast and skilful backline.  

Where it will be won:  

We must dominate in the pack to get the win. We must also dominate up front, it is something our girls do well and this week will be no different. We have lost a bit of the fire power in our backline due to players heading to other codes and a few injuries. We will have to rely heavily on our experienced forward pack this weekend to get us over the line. 

One to watch:  

Zoe Hanna
Zoe Hanna 

Zoe Hanna, Zoe Hanna, Zoe Hanna. The John Eales Rugby Excellence Scholar has been crucial for us this season and will be an important element in our drive for success on Saturday. Her strong carries and dominant defence make an explosive addition to Jemma Bemrose and Lucy Thorpe’s skillset up in our front pack. 

Shuffling the magnets:

This weekend we lose Jetaya Faifua to the NRL’s Cowboys, Georgia Grey won’t play and Evie Sampson will be making her mark over in 7s.  

The final word: 

This will be our final home game for this round. We will be aiming for a dominant display for past players day and in front of our home crowd. Despite a multitude of changes to the backline we will still be wanting to see some high scoring rugby. 

With Shannon Symon.  

Colts 1  

Last time they met:

Rd 16, 2023 at The Canal. 

Bull Sharks won 22-19  

The opposition: 

The UQ Colts play a very organised style of game. Their 9 and 10 will be the ones we have to watch out for as well as their well-oiled forward pack. Their team is likely to play strong and we will have to put it all on the line to combat their forward’s high endurance.  

Where it will be won 

To win we will have to be strong up front. Last week against Souths we were beaten in this area due to the loss of Harry Bell and Charlie McCauley to our Premier Men’s side. We will be looking for Nikotimo Mateiwai, Rogan Huntley and Oliver Barret to really step up this game and set the tone for the rest of the boys. 

One to watch:

Kobe Waikato at 10 will be the director of our play book. He is a strong player who is exceptional at managing the game. His ability to link plays went well last week and we are hoping to see more of this at The Canal this weekend. 

The focus:

The main one is reducing our errors. This is what cost us the game last week. If we can improve our set piece, especially through our scrums, we can expect a much better game of footy. We have spent a lot of time on these areas in the past few weeks.  

Shuffling the magnets:

Ieuan Cornelius will be coming in at 15 with Trey Alatini away. Justin Faber will be coming onto the wing after a really good performance last week.   

The final word:

It’s looking like the game will shape up to be a good one. We really need this win to keep us in a good position heading into the next round.  

With Rico Gear.  

 

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