Bond University have missed out on a Queensland Premier Rugby grand final berth after going down to a strong Brothers side 42-17 at Yoku Road on Saturday.
How it unfolded
Brothers secured their first points through a powerful rolling maul but Bond sharpshooter Hamish Roberts bridged the gap with a penalty goal in the opening 10 minutes.
The Bull Sharks were looking dominant in the forwards and prop George Blake crashed over from close range to take the lead 10-5 after 25 minutes. But Brothers would prove why they are a real contender by scoring two tries in nine minutes to lead 19-10 at the break.
Brothers extended their lead five minutes into the second half following some crisp passing on the edge before the Bull Sharks responded through barnstorming backrower Tomas Grenon who got the pass away to Kali Nasoko to score in the corner. That brought the margin back to seven points with 30 minutes left to play.
Bond became their own worst enemy through numerous errors and set-piece mistakes which saw Brothers dominate field position. They were able to capitalise by scoring 15 points in the space of 17 minutes.
In the end Brothers proved too good for the Bull Sharks, taking out the 25-point victory and ending Bond University’s 2023 campaign.
What they said
Captain Lachlan Connors was disappointed in the result but couldn’t fault the effort.
“I saw a bunch of blokes trying their absolute hardest to win and when you try too hard, mistakes happen,” Connors said.
“We pushed passes and we were not strong over the ball which led to turnovers.”
Overall, it was a solid improvement from a fifth-placed finish in 2022 to minor premiers and a finals appearance in 2023.
“It’s been a great turnaround this year but what has impressed me the most has been our ability to hang in games and have the composure to pull out some brilliance to find a way to win,” Connors said.
“That takes a lot of hard work and grit which is how I would sum up the season.”
Connors also noticed a shift in culture towards a winning mindset under coach Grant Anderson this season.
“Ando had a big impact on the group around the style and thinking he had on the type of rugby that suited us,” he said.
“It was all about what we can do to exploit the opposition and how we can realise our own potential.
“We had tremendous buy-in from the playing group and that hard-work mindset led to the success we had throughout the year which became infectious.”
Although the men’s season may be over, the attention turns to the Premier Women as they prepare for their grand final match-up with Sunnybank.
The Dragons booked their place by defeating UQ to set up the enticing clash between the competition’s two heavyweights on Sunday morning at Ballymore Stadium.