The Bull Sharks Premier Women’s team took home the only win on the weekend, their stunning 43-10 victory a bright spot in an otherwise dark day as all five men’s teams went down to Brothers at Crosby Park in Albion.
The Women’s and reserves sides remain in finals contention if they can take the fight to Easts in the last round of the regular season on Saturday, and the Bull Sharks will be looking to maximise their home-side advantage.
But the finals dream is over for the Premier men’s side, who will now focus on supporting Second Grade on the road to the finals.
An early three-point start for the Bull Sharks wasn’t enough to hold back the home side, with Brothers dominating the match and scoring two early tries in quick succession.
Bond made a valiant comeback with Tuidraki Samusamuvodre scoring a brilliant try right on halftime after a sensational one-handed offload from centre Tyler Campbell, shrinking the gap to just four points. Brothers led 12-8 at the break.
A determined Brothers went over in the 45th minute and continued to dominate the ball throughout the second half.
Bond’s superior work in the scrum saw them add another three points with a close-range penalty goal, but the home side was on fire, wiping out any gain with another two tries, taking the score to 31-11.
Bond fought back when replacement outside back Jayden Ngamanu split Brothers open and found Tyler Campbell to score. The final 10 minutes had finals-like intensity with Campbell crossing again to leave Bond trailing by just six points with three minutes on the clock.
As the fulltime siren sounded, the Bull Sharks, ball still in hand, made one final lunge to the line but were once again thwarted by centimetres, Brothers holding up the ball and taking the win.
WHAT THEY SAID
Inside centre Tyler Campbell played a starring role, scoring two tries and setting up the third in what was a superb performance from the 25-year-old.
“I thought it was a high-quality game of rugby and a special game to be a part of. It was definitely physical but the skill level of both sides, I thought, was high and some great running rugby was on display,” Campbell said.
“It obviously hurts we couldn’t come away with the win and you could see on the boys’ faces (when) we were denied a potentially winning try after the siren that everyone had given their all and really wanted to win it.”
Campbell acknowledged that Bond fought hard but were let down by some critical errors.
“I just think we made a couple of crucial errors when momentum was on our side,” he said.
“Whether that was our exits, securing the kick-off after scoring points or turning the ball over and giving Brothers a chance to attack in our half, the little losses in key moments added up.”
Regardless of the result, Campbell was proud of the character and resolve the Bull Sharks showed throughout the 2022 season.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys and the effort they put in on the field. The impact from our bench was phenomenal and while we might not be playing finals footy, I’m so glad I was able to put the boots on and play with this group of boys,” he said.
Bond University will round out the season against the East Tigers at the Canal in what will be another hotly contested match-up between 5th and 6th placed teams.
The Bull Sharks are hungry to finish the season on a bright note in front of local fans.
“We have one more week together and we want to enjoy it and finish well on our terms against Easts next weekend,” Campbell said.
“We also have an opportunity to get around Second Grade and help them prepare and push for a spot in finals.”
AROUND THE GRADES
Second Grade narrowly went down 38-33, meaning a finals spot will come down to Saturday’s match, with a win over Easts needed to secure a place in the top four.
The Premier Women’s side on the other hand produced a stunning win, beating Brothers 43-10. Speedster Dianne Waight added to her already impressive tally, collecting another two tries.
The women’s team is on track for a fierce finals contest, but first must face off against second-placed Easts at the Canal.
Premier Women: W 43-10
First grade: L 31-25
Second grade: L 38-33
Third grade: L 45-12
Colts one: L 46-0
Colts Two: L 52-15