Heavies rue second-half
GPS were able to over-come a 19-point margin on their way to a 36-35 win over the University of Queensland on Saturday in round 13 of the Queensland Premier Rugby competition at St Lucia.
In an enthralling, entertaining and intense encounter GPS over-turned a 28-9 half-time deficit to finally claim the lead with less than five minutes remaining courtesy of a 70-metre intercept from winger Todd Winkley.
The game started in emphatic fashion for the Heavies as winger David Burns scored before many of the crowd had a chance to sit down.
It was 5-0 as fly half Teti Tela pushed the ball wide from the left-hand touch-line.
GPS returned serve as fly half Aporosa Tuqiri kicked a long penalty.
The Heavies soon replied in turn with their second as outside centre Simon Morahan ducked and weaved over the white-wash, again the conversion was astray.
Captain Will Thompson then made a stunning break as he scythed his way past some lazy defenders to set up attack in opposition territory, from the ensuing penalty Tela increased the lead to 13-3.
Tuqiri responded with two long penalties to cut the lead to four before the Heavies received a penalty which Tela banana-kicked deep into the 22.
Hooker Mitch Wade threw the ball in and as rehearsed the Heavies marched and mauled for the line with Wade controlling at the back which led to a try.
Thompson again used his speed and guile to break the GPS defence and increased the lead to 23-9 before the Heavies made wonderful use of the back-line.
Thompson fed the ball into a scrum on half-way and then passed to Tela running from deep. The ball then was sent deeper to fullback Luke Morahan, who was returning from Reds duty, and he split the defence open before drawing and passing to a flying Burns who streaked down the touch-line to score.
The half-time break proved to be a massive change of momentum for both teams as GPS slowly built their way back into the contest through patience and the boot of Tuqiri.
A quick-tap penalty to returning scrum half Nick Frisby led to the opening try for the visitors which Tuqiri converted for 28-16.
Tuqiri then nailed a second penalty before Heavies open-side flanker Connor Mitchell crashed over to push the margin out to beyond two converted tries.
GPS began to storm home after continued pressure on the Heavies’ line and tight-head prop Ruan-Henry Smith dived over to close the gap to 35-24.
Second-row Daniel Gorman then got the visitors’ fourth try to close the gap to four with less than ten minutes remaining.
The Heavies pressed GPS inside their 22 and managed to finally build on possession and territory.
However a wayward pass found winger Todd Winkley on the 22, and with speed to burn he gratefully received the gift to sprint away to steal the match.
There was still time left though but GPS had arguably the better of the final stages and from a penalty just inside the home-side’s half accepted a kick at goal from Tuqiri which faded just short, the Heavies attacked from deep inside their 22 but could not break through as the ball was turned over.
GPS 36 (Nick Frisby, Ruan-Henry Smith, Daniel Gorman, Todd Winkley tries; Aporosa Tuqiri 2 cons, 4 pens) def. University of Queensland 35 (David Burns 2, Simon Morahan, Mitchell Wade, Will Thompson, Connor Mitchell tries; Will Thompson con, Teti Tela pen).