This afternoon we will see two of the oldest clubs in Queensland go head-to-head in the 2022 StoreLocal Preliminary Final for their chance to face Wests next weekend in the Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium.
University and Brothers have a storied rivalry that has dates back to the start of the 20th century. Another chapter will be written this afternoon with two teams brimming with talent set to clash at Bond University.
UQ will be ruing missed opportunities from last weekend’s major semi-final, drawing with Wests 37-all after extra time, seeing the Bulldogs progress to the Grand Final as minor premiers, and University forced to face the winner of the minor semi-final.
Missed conversions, a missed penalty and drop goal attempt will have haunted the UQ backs for a short period, who have no doubt spent plenty of time kicking from the tee this week at training.
While Sef Fa’agase has been ruled out for the students, they have welcomed back enforcer Nuku Swerling into the side, who will pack down at number 8 seeing Pat Morrey shift into the second row.
In the backs, TJ Siakisini has been named in the reserves, with Kye Oates shifting into the centres and Joe Pincus starting on the wing.
Brothers have named the same starting XV that delivered for them in the minor semi-final last Sunday. In the reserves, the Brethren will welcome back Nick Cross, who will add plenty in the backrow off the bench.
The battle between former teammates Kalani Thomas and Mosiah Christian will be one to watch, while up front, Brad Kapa – who spent the past two seasons at UQ – will line-up opposite his former captain Morrey.
UQ boast a distinct Country flavour to the side with Pat Morrey (Cairns), Conor Mitchell (Sunshine Coast), Nuku Swerling (Gold Coast), Brad Twidale (Millmerran), Mac Grealy (Toowoomba), Kye Oates (Toowoomba), Joe Pincus (Gold Coast) and Jock Campbell (Gold Coast) all emerging from regional Queensland.
While both sides have the services of their Queensland Reds players, we saw Ryan Smith and Harry Wilson drive the intensity within the Brothers pack last weekend, while James O’Connor showed his class in the second half. The shift in the UQ backline will hopefully work in favour of their own Queensland representatives in Jock Campbell and Mac Grealy, with the expectation that the Red Heavies are looking to move the ball around more this week, playing in the wider channels.
This preliminary final is sure to be one for the ages, you can catch the game LIVE via 9Gem or Stan Sport – kick-off at 3:10pm.
To view team lists or follow the score on Rugby Xplorer, click here.