Round 17 Wrap: Brighton eye Souths hurdle, 500-gamer scores in milestone match

Mon, Aug 21, 2023, 6:48 AM
Rugby Union SA
by Rugby Union SA

Brighton coach Richard Wasley is on high alert ahead of their upcoming Premier Grade clash with Southern Suburbs, branding Saturday’s showdown “a trial finals run” after seeing off a spirited Onkaparinga outfit in Round 17.

The Tigers’ 67-8 win over Onkas put them in the box seat to secure another minor premiership and home semi-final berth but Wasley believes improvements are needed if they’re to topple Souths this weekend.

“We’ve had some big scores and won a few games easily in the past few weeks but Onkas were tough, they were really tough actually, and I thought it was a really good hitout,” Wasley said.

“We’re expecting a tough old game against Souths and they probably should’ve had us last time we met.

“It was a horrible day in the wet and they were 9 points up with five to go but we ended up stealing it late, so I’m sure they’ll be up for it.

“But hopefully this weekend will be nice and dry, so it’s a great opportunity to run the ball and for players to put their hand up and earn selection because we haven’t settled on our best first grade side yet.

“There’s blokes out injured, there’s guys like Absalom Bayam scoring four tries and putting themselves in the mix, and we’ve got players like Lewis (Boyle) and Pita (Nakawara) who can play forwards and backs, so we’re treating this like a trial finals run.”

In other Round 17 results, Port Adelaide returned to the winners’ circle with a hard-fought 28-22 victory over Adelaide University while Old Collegians and Burnside banked bonus-point wins over Woodville and Elizabeth respectively.

Adelaide Uni and Woodville extracted revenge over Port and Old Colls in the women’s competition with Barossa also enjoying wins against Souths in Reserve and Third Grade at AA Bailey.

However, the day belonged to Souths Third Grade veteran Antony Owen, who scored a try and kicked a conversion in his 500th senior game - well done mate!