Round 8 delivered what Downs Rugby community rugby supporters want: close matches and upsets. The Wagners Risdon Cup and all senior competitions are only a fortnight away from Super Saturday Semi Finals.
The cross-city rivalry between Toowoomba Bears and Toowoomba Rangers reignited after their 22-all draw in Round 3. Last Saturday at Heritage Oval, Bears hosted Rangers in a tough contest with two yellow cards issued in a spirited match where the Rangers prevailed. Rangers are unbeaten, scoring two tries and in a defiant defensive effort; only Will Jackson's four penalty goals could get past the posts for the Bears. Rangers' flanker Matt Bourgoure earned three more valuable points toward the 2020 Mal Eiby best and fairest medal calculations. Rangers are now 16 competition points clear atop the Wagners Risdon Cup ladder, however there is a close race to determine other placings come the end of the regular season.
Roma Echidnas had their last home game for the regular season at the Ants' Nest, Fox Gallas Park. The USQ Saints were fresh off a bye and pitched against the resurgent Echidnas there was a strong forwards contest with the Roma backline the difference in a classy display. Mack Mason played an instrumental role in the Echidnas' six tries and converted all of them to earn three points towards the Mal Eiby Medal. In the try of the year to date, between a few phases, Mason kicked cross field to both wingers Peter Body and Nick Loughnan for a memorable catch-in-the-corner try. Echidnas wingers both scored a double in the 42-15 victory which has lifted the Echidnas into fourth position on the Wagners Risdon Cup ladder, only separated by the USQ Saints in third position by for and against (11 competition points for third/fourth) and the Condamine Cods on 14 points in second ladder position. It's game on in the next fortnight.
This Saturday at 3pm in the Wagners Risdon Cup Match of the Round, it is first v second on the ladder in a real test for the Condamine Cods to solidify their second placing against the Toowoomba Rangers and their home crowd at Gold Park.
The Warwick Water Rats have staked their claim on the Nutrien Ag Bill Flamsteed Trophy in the Rivalry Round 8 epic at Rowden Oval in a two-point victory 19-17 over the reigning premiers St George Frillnecks. In a see-sawing match, scores were locked at 12-all at halftime with both sides displaying great discipline and ferocious contests in the forwards. The B grade ladder is locked at the top with Warwick Water Rats and St George Frillnecks both on 27 competition points, Warwick leading with 54 more for and against points. Note the Water Rats have played one less game with the bye system. Nutrien Ag B Grade is set for another epic, most likely between these two sides, on Saturday October 3 in the grand final.
Black Isuzu Ute Women's 7s Emilee Cheery Cup ventured to Rowden Oval, St George for six matches featuring four clubs. St George Filly Frillies won the day unbeaten, including a 35-0 victory against USQ Saints in the final. Filly Frillies' Meg Jakins and Alice Rathie notched six tries apiece for the day. Georgia Sim keeps amassing points for USQ Saints. The Women's 7s ladder, with a fortnight of regular season remaining, has the USQ Saints (44 competition points) first followed by St George on 40 points, Toowoomba Bears in third position and Toowoomba Rangers in fourth. This is an incredibly exciting competition in 2020 revamped with the weekly tournament structure.
Wednesday week ago the Darling Downs Super Schools Cup Grand Finals were held at Gold Park. Teenage schoolboy 15-a-side rugby has a strong future thanks to Rugby Australia Foundation and the schools volunteers. Faith Lutheran College secured the under 13 and open premiership and the under 15 champions are Mary Mackillop Catholic College combined with Highfields State Secondary School. Special note to Scots PGC Warwick for making two grand finals.
#StaySafe #Community #GrassrootsRugby More information at www.downsrugby.com.au. Play your part and stay safe, in turn protecting the health of fellow Queenslanders.