University bolstered, losses hoodoo ends
By AARON KELLY
UNIVERSITY players have mastered their first assignment in the coaches seat, but they face a tougher test this weekend. The students snapped a fourgame losing run with a confidence-boosting 36-7 victory in their final round Rockhampton and District Rugby Union (RDRU) clash against Frenchville Pioneers.
After the mid-season departure of coach Brent Stephens and new mentor Ian Coombe unavailable, University players were forced to call the shots on Saturday.
It was a performance captain Craig Wilkes admitted was well short of what would be needed in the finals, but it was enough to please the coaching staff and grab a bonus point to seal second spot.
"After four losses we definitely wouldn't have had any momentum heading into the finals, so it was a good win,'' Wilkes said.
Stephens, now based on the Sunshine Coast, will return to coach the side in this weekend's major semi-final with Colts. The minor premiers sent an ominous warning to their title challengers on the eve of the finals with a 60-5 rout of Brothers.
Minor semi-finals (August 13) ? Venue: Rugby Park. (Sub Districts) Biloela v Cap Coast; (Reserve Grade) University v Brothers; (A Grade) Dawson Valley v Brothers. Major semi-finals (August 14) ? Venue: Rugby Park. (Sub Districts) Gladstone v Mount Morgan; (Reserve Grade) Colts v Dawson Valley; (A Grade) Colts v Dawson Valley.