Round 1 of the Hospital Cup delivered four great games to kick off the 2022 season. Three games were closely contested and went down to the wire, while Easts put in a dominant performance against Sunnybank. Let’s take a look at how all four games panned out.
University of Queensland 27 def Wests 22
The Westside derby between the reigning Premiers UQ and their closet neighbour Wests was a tight encounter, with only a few points separating the two teams for most of the match.
Wests came out of the blocks firing and crossed for the first try of the match through Connor Anderson, closely followed by a try from flyhalf Jono Kent. Five points through the boot of Cooper Whiteside gave Wests a 15-3 lead just 20 minutes into the first half.
Red Heavies’ playmaker Brad Twidale pulled his side back into the contest late in the first half, scoring a try of his own before Nuku Swerling dotted down on the stroke of half-time. Twidale slotted both conversions to give the home-side a narrow 17-15 lead.
Wests defence was rock solid throughout the match, preventing the Red Heavies from making any inroads through the middle of the field. It wasn’t until the 67th minute that the home-side managed to add to their tally, with a passage of play down the left flank resulting in a try to Fred Keil, taking the score to 22-15.
Wests answered back and Bronson Tauakipulu drove over the line, Whiteside added the extras to lock the scores at 22-all with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Wests had possession deep inside UQ territory late in the half, but a knock-on gave UQ the opportunity they needed and once again they went down the left flank and Tom Molloy crossed for the Red Heavies’ fourth try of the afternoon to deliver the Students a 27-22 win.
CREDIT TO THE BOYS: Brad Twidale shone for UQ, steering their new look team back into the contest, while Wests hooker Ethan Dobbins was physical and got through a mountain of work.
Easts 29 def Sunnybank nil
The Tigers sent a message to the rest of the competition in Round 1, claiming a 29-nil win over the Dragons.
Scumhalf Will Kirk was a standout in the match, crossing for the first try while slotting three conversions, stepping up in the absence of the experienced Eli Pilz to guide the Tigers to victory.
Despite the final result, it wasn’t until the 24th minute that the Tigers opened the score, with Kirk darting from the base of the ruck to split the Dragons defence and cross to the right of the sticks.
A grubber from new flyhalf Jake Pappin saw Matt Smit cross for the Tigers’ second try in the 35th minute. The successful conversions from Kirk gave Easts a 14-nil lead at half-time.
Hooker Zac Crothers crossed for a brace of tries within less then 10 minutes of each other to add to the Tigers tally, and a penalty from Shane Kennedy late in the match locked in the 29-nil win.
CREDIT TO THE BOYS: Will Kirk had big boots to fill, stepping into first grade for the injured Eli Pilz, and the youngest of three Kirk brothers playing at Easts delivered.
GPS 34 def Brothers 28
The clash between Brothers and GPS was a tight affair that saw the lead switch between the two sides, but the experienced Gallopers outfit proved to be too strong for the Brethren.
Fullback Pat Nicholson crossed for a double early and a try from Tautalatasi Tasi saw GPS take an early 19-nil lead.
Mosiah Christian crossed for Brothers first try in the 25th minute, which Paddy James converted to narrow the margin to 19-7.
A cross-field kick from new Brethren flyhalf Tayler Adams late in the first half put Nivan Longapoa over in the corner. Adams slotted the conversion to leave the score at 19-14 at half-time.
Tighthead prop Jaiden Christian crossed for Brothers in the opening exchanges of the second-half, and the conversion from Adams edged Brothers ahead 21-19.
GPS answered back minutes later with Jason Hofmeyr splitting Brothers’ defence, he converted his own try putting GPS back in the lead 26-21.
Brothers returned play to the other end of the field and another cross-field kick from Adams looked to have put Billy Bulley over for a try but it was ruled held up. Brothers went back on the attack and hooker Brendan Bell scored off the back of a rolling maul. The extras from Adams put Brothers back in the lead 28-26.
The Gallopers answered back with a try to Josh Collins in the right hand corner in the 60th minute of the game, giving the visitors a 31-28 lead.
Hofmeyr had the final say of the match, slotting a drop goal in the 79th minute to secure GPS a 34-28 win.
CREDIT TO THE BOYS: Jason Hofmeyr was the hero that delivered GPS a grand final berth in 2021, and the flyhalf picked things up where he left them and scored an individual tally of 14-points to help GPS secure bragging rights over the Brethren.
Norths 20 drew with Souths 20
The first ‘Battle of the Birds’ clash at Hugh Courtney Oval saw two new-look teams go head-to-head, and it was Eagles number 8 Will Rogers who opened the scoring in the third minute. Jacob Prideaux added the extras to give the home-side an early 7-nil lead.
Elijah Kefu crossed for Souths minutes later, before Seb Hanna showed some soccer skills to cross for the Magpies second, giving the visitors a 10-nil lead.
Mone Ma’afu scored Souths’ third in the 19th minute, extending Souths lead to 15-7, where the score would remain as the two teams headed into the half-time break.
An early penalty in the second half from Prideaux narrowed the margin to 15-10, before Sam Mata’afa crossed for Souths fourth try of the afternoon, giving Souths a 20-10 lead.
A try from Ryan Ah Yek put Norths back in the contest, and the conversion and a further penalty from Prideaux levelled the score at 20-all.
CREDIT TO THE BOYS: While there are a host of new faces at Norths this year, it was the boot of second-generation Eagle Jacob Prideaux which kept Norths in the match and secured the home-side the draw.