TRU Round 11 Wrap: Burnie bank perfect three as finals picture forms

Mon, Jul 31, 2023, 1:00 AM
TAS Rugby
by TAS Rugby
Burnie Emus coach Brett Bentley (far right) addresses his team during the 2023 season. Picture: Burnie Emus Facebook
Burnie Emus coach Brett Bentley (far right) addresses his team during the 2023 season. Picture: Burnie Emus Facebook

Burnie men's coach Brett Bentley believes his club are in a strong position to play finals across all three senior grades as the statewide TRU competitions near boiling point.

Bentley was on the Sandy Bay sidelines for Burnie’s hard-fought 21-17 win over University in the women’s sevens before taking to the field for the Premiership men’s 58-24 victory.

Despite scoring four tries of their own, the students struggled to contain Burnie's attacking weapons with Filimone Fatongiatau and Peni Vea bagging doubles in a 10-try blitz.

With the Emus also rolling Eastern Suburbs 62-0 in the men’s Championship division, Bentley is hopeful July’s club-wide success will drive momentum three weeks out from finals.

“Getting three wins on the roads doesn’t happen very often for us down in Hobart so we’re really pleased with the results,” Bentley said.

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“It was good to see both our men’s teams get up, especially with so many squad members playing both this year, but we’re really proud of how the girls have been going.

“Watching them play Uni this weekend was unreal – so many good hits and the games between those two are quality - it's probably one of the state’s biggest rugby rivalries now.”

Bentley noted the importance of breaking a three-week win drought in the Premiership against an unpredictable Uni outfit.

“We’ve dropped a few games we shouldn’t this year so it was really good to get one back over Uni and obviously helped that Hobart Lions lost to Launceston this week,” he said.

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“The ladder’s been a bit closer this year but we’re hopeful of at least wrapping up fourth spot in the Premiership over the next three weeks and getting all three teams into the finals.”

Burnie’s win saw them reinstate their eight-point buffer over Hobart Lions, who fell to ladder-leaders Launceston 52-5 at Hutchins War Memorial Oval and must now win their next three games and hope for a late Emus’ slump to make their finals dream a reality.

In other Premiership results, Taroona all but wrapped up a top-two finish by defeating third-placed Devonport 33-12 while Glenorchy’s fast start saw them record a 27-12 win over Hobart Harlequins at Eady Street.

In the men’s Championship, Launceston notched a 27-12 away win over Taroona with Burnie’s Anamanu Vaka starring in the aforementioned women’s sevens decider against Uni, banking two tries and three conversions in her match-winning turn.