Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin



A RISING tide of profession­al rugby players into the Queensland Premier Rugby competitio­n could sweep Bond University out of the finals race in a bitter pill for Gold Coast rugby.

The cost-cutting decision to scrap the National Rugby Championsh­ip 12 months ago will have far reaching effects on club rugby as interstate teams dispatch their non-Wallabies players into the competitio­n for a run around.

The Melbourne Rebels have parachuted five players into the Wests Bulldogs line-up to take on Bond University in Toowong on Saturday afternoon in a move that supercharg­es the Bulldogs’ premiershi­p ambitions at the direct expense of Bond, who sit three points outside fourth.

Prop Matt Gibbon, flanker Ross Haylett-Petty, flyhalf Carter Gordon, centre Glen Vaihu and former Broncos developmen­t winger Ilikena Vudogo will join Queensland Reds Ilaisa Droasese and Moses Sorovi and former Japanese Top 14 reps Richard and Jeremy Skelton in a star-studded Bulldogs team.

Wallabies lock Trevor Hosea was forced to withdraw due to the Covid-19 bubble.

Opposing them will be the Bull Sharks, win-loss record of six and six, with one Super Rugby player at their disposal.

That is prop Zane Nonggorr, a 20-year-old veteran of 13 profession­al matches with the Reds across in two seasons.

Former Japanese Sunwolves winger Tautalatas­i Tasi and former Broncos fullback Jordan Kahu are the only other players with profession­al experience in the Bond team.

It is a clash of the haves against the have-nots but Bond coach Grant Anderson was diplomatic about the imbalance.

“They have good players, we have good players,” he said. “We’re ready to get it on.” Anderson said his team would rely on controllin­g possession to keep the ball out of the hands of the Bulldogs dangerous new weapons.

“We’ll play field position and challenge their defensive ability,” he declared.

 ??  ?? Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Carter Gordon has taken the reins for Wests Bulldogs. Picture: Melbourne Rebels
Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Carter Gordon has taken the reins for Wests Bulldogs. Picture: Melbourne Rebels

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