Bond University delivered a second half masterclass to defeat Souths Magpies 45-28 and extend their lead at the top of the Premier Rugby ladder.
How it unfolded:
The Magpies came out firing in the first half, shocking Bond when they crossed for the opening try after just two minutes through their big forward pack.
The Bull Sharks quickly hit back when big man Rhys Sheriff proved too strong from close range.
The pattern continued when the Magpies crossed only to see the Bull Sharks once again strike back. This time flyhalf Tyler Campbell worked his magic to put Connor Pritchard through a yawning gap. Linking up with Rhian Stowers who scored in the left corner.
On the stroke of halftime, Bond unleashed a long range raid with a pinpoint pass from Lachie McInnes to Jayden Ngamanu who kicked and regathered for the try which put Bond in front by three points at the break.
The Bull Sharks came out with a reinvigorated attitude in the second half. They opened the scoring through Stowers who produced one of the best tries of the season from deep within the Sharks’ own half. Stowers left defenders in his wake as he surged upfield, linking with Ngamanu who expertly drew the last defender before offloading back to Stowers who raced in for his second of the day.
The one-way traffic continued when Tyler Campbell rolled his way over after some brilliant phase play from the Bond forwards.
But with 20 minutes left to play the Magpies breathed new life into the contest through a rolling maul which set up a try to reduce the margin to nine points.
However, Bond were able to halt the hosts’ momentum when Connor Pritchard got a well-deserved try through pure determination.
It left just enough time for Stowers to complete his hat-trick and seal the 45-28 victory over the Magpies.
What they said:
After two weeks of nail-biting results, English lock Will Morrison was pleased to put in a complete performance.
“We definitely needed a full 80 minute effort, and it was a really fast start, but we knew if we could keep at that pace we would be able to run away with it,” he said.
Going into halftime Bond had a three-point lead and the message was clear at the main break.
“We just had to lift our physicality and work a bit harder. We were standing off a bit in that first half, so we had to lift the tempo,” he said.
Morrison is in his first season with the Bull Sharks, arriving via England and Canberra before finding his place at The Canal.
“I’m loving it. Every week the guys put in so much effort and the coaching has been unbelievable so I’m really enjoying my time,” he said.
Around the grades:
It was tough day for the lower grades with Colts One going down by just one point 18-17 and Second Grade falling short 27-25 to the Magpies.
It was more positive news for the Premier Women who after trailing early in the match found a way to fight back and win 27-20.
Young flyhalf Leilani Ahsam was impressive, directing her team around the park along with Jemma Bemrose who led by example with every carry.
The Bull Sharks’ newest recruit, Australian Wallaroo Eva Karpani, made a successful debut in the front row and was devastating with every touch. The international star will bring experience to the young Bond University side.
Colts Two: L 46-19
Third Grade: L 26-12
Colts One: L 18-17
Second Grade: L 27-25
First Grade: W 45-28
Premier Women's: W 27-20