University of Queensland have kept their season alive for another week, securing a comfortable 51-12 minor semi-final win over the Easts on Sunday evening at Ballymore.
The Students got off to a fast start at Ballymore, claiming a three-try-lead in the opening 20-minutes of play, to end Easts’ hopes of a preliminary final berth.
UQ backrower Pat Morrey was pleased with his sides performance.
“Obviously we copped a bit of a serving after our performance last week against Jeeps in Round 18, but today the boys rocked up with the right attitude and the score speaks for himself,” Morrey said.
“They have a pretty tough backrow who are really hard on the ball, so it was a great game for us to control that speed there.
“They’re scrums are probably their biggest strength, it showed out there, they were all over us at first but we came back in the second half to control the tempo there.
Brad Twidale sliced through the Easts defence to open the scoring in the fifth minute, before Jock Campbell streaked 90-metres to find the line and Fergus Lillicrap burrowed his way through the defence with a pick-and-drive effort to get Uni to a 19-nil lead.
Despite falling behind early, Easts did not drop their heads and earned their first points of the day with some build up attack down the right-hand side of the field for Riley Cooper to score.
A switch in play from the Heavies found winger Sam Edwards in space for a try, while hooker Tom Mellor then crossed to make it five tries before the half, the Students leading 31-5.
The Tigers were put on the back foot yet again early in the second-forty, as Uni continued to press their defence.
A pinpoint Tate McDermott cut out ball found Campbell for another UQ try in the 58th minute, before Easts hit back through Puke Garland to lessen the deficit.
TJ Siakisini iced the game for Uni in the 80th minute, scoring his sides seventh try to put the final score out to 51-12.
Looking forward to next week’s clash with GPS, which will determine whether the Heavies or the Gallopers face Brothers in the 2019 Grand Final, Morrey knows the UQ side have a tough challenge on their hands.
“It’s no secret they are a big, physical team (GPS), and that’s how they have played all season,” he said.
“We have to once again really look after our breakdown there and obviously our scrum, it will be a big challenge but we are up for it now.”
UQ will play GPS at Ballymore next Sunday at 3:05PM in the preliminary final.
Minor Semi Final
University of Queensland 51 (J Campbell 2 tries B Twidale F Lillicrap S Edwards T Mellor TJ Siakisini tries J Dalgleish 2 pens 5 cons) d Easts 12 (R Cooper P Garland tries E Pilz con)