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Women through to preliminary final

Full-time celebrations as the Bond side progresses to the Women’s Premier Rugby competition Grand Final. Pictures: Cavan Flynn and Alan Patching

The Bull Sharks premier women’s side is on the march to Grand Final glory, booking their spot in next week’s preliminary final after a thrilling one-point win against Sunnybank. 

The 13-12 victory will see the Bull Sharks take on the GPS Gallopers in front of a home crowd at The Canal on Sunday. 

But it was heartache for the men’s second grade side who fell agonisingly short, going down to the Gallopers 20-17, marking an end to their finals campaign. 

How it unfolded: 

The Premier women exploded out of the gates with Jaya Whyte flying down the sideline to score. Wallaroo Melanie Wilks swiftly followed with a penalty goal before Dianne Waight added another try to her tally from a set piece scrum play.  

The highly physical game saw both teams put their bodies on the line, with Bond shaping up to the bigger Sunnybank pack. 

Sunnybank crossed over twice in a late onslaught, but the Bull Sharks held their nerve and the scoreline to take the match. 

The men’s second grade match was a heartbreaker, the Bull Sharks missing a late penalty that would have drawn the match and propelled them to a finals berth given their spot on the ladder. But it was not to be.   

The Bull Sharks held an early 10-0 lead after a penalty to Hamish Roberts and a try to James Nicholls, but GPS hit back with two quick tries. Both teams fought hard in the second half, a try each taking the score to 20-17, but missing that crucial penalty kick gave GPS the win. 

What they said: 

Inside centre Gabriella Rivers played a key role in the women’s win, teaming up with Melanie Wilks in the midfield.  

“There couldn’t have been a better time than this game for us to pull it out of the bag and really play to our potential and we managed to do it,” Rivers said. 

“We finally played as a cohesive unit and it was unreal, definitely my favourite game of the season so far.”  

The Bull Sharks will be looking to lift again next week as they take on minor premiers GPS who are hurting after going down to East Tigers in their semi-final. 

“We know we need to work on our exits and overall decision making especially in our half or our 22,” Rivers said.  

“There were too many moments when we put ourselves under unnecessary pressure that could’ve cost us the game.”  

The Bull Sharks will be seeking to capitalise on the home crowd advantage, with Bond University hosting Sunday’s preliminary final. 

“I know being at our home ground will only put more fuel on the fire and I really hope there will be a big crowd because we are looking to put on a show and take another win,” Rivers said.  

Bond will host three preliminary finals on Sunday with the premier women’s match kicking off at 10:30am followed by second grade in which Brothers take on GPS. In first grade, University of Queensland will battle it out against Brothers. 

Semi Final results: 

Premier Women vs Sunnybank W 13-12 

Second Grade vs GPS L 20-17 

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