TRU Round 14 Wrap: Burnie clinch Championship, finals locked in

Wed, Aug 23, 2023, 4:30 AM
TAS Rugby
by TAS Rugby

An historic TRU rugby treble is within Burnie’s grasp after the Emus downed Launceston 34-10 in Saturday’s Championship decider at Don Recreation Oval.

Riding a 10-game unbeaten streak and buoyed by their womens’ drought-breaking sevens title, the Emus ran in six tries to two in a dominant grand final performance aided by doubles to player-coach Brett Bentley and Abai Foliaki.

Penisione Taugofie and Salisio Naisorotabua crossed for Launceston but ill-discipline proved their side’s undoing with four yellow cards (including two to Sekove Koroi, resulting in a red card) leaving the Tigers’ defence outmanned for large portions of the decider.

“Launny had a bloody good team and we knew their backs would be lethal so we had a bit of a gameplan to just hold the ball, pick and drive all day and make them give away penalties,” Bentley said.

“I’m just so proud of the effort - we just kept plugging away, stuck to our game plan of giving our big boys some go forward and eventually it just opened up for us.”

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Now all eyes turn to Burnie’s Premiership outfit, who will tackle Devonport in this weekend’s minor semi-final despite falling to the Bulls 36-20 in their final regular season fixture.

“It’s already been our club’s best year on record with the girls getting up and our Div 2 boys going undefeated with just the one regular season game at home, so it’s a massive turnaround from where we were a few years back,” Bentley said.

“The Bulls got us in Div 1 last weekend, but I think we’ve got a gameplan that can beat Devonport - something which we haven’t done since about 2012."

Meanwhile, minor premiers Launceston will host Taroona in this Saturday’s major semi-final after both sides produced bonus-point wins over Glenorchy and University respectively in Round 14.

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The Tigers are undefeated at Royal Park in 2023 and emerged 34-18 victors over Taroona in their last meeting in Round 8, however the Penguins are the only side to have beaten Launceston this year (26-12 in Round 1).

The winner of Launceston v Taroona will book their grand final berth and a week off with the loser set to tackle either Burnie or Devonport in next week’s preliminary final.

Hobart Lions also ended their year on a high, downing cross-town rivals Hobart Harlequins 38-17 to finish just outside the top four with seven wins and seven losses.


MAJOR SEMI FINAL: Launceston (1) v Taroona (2) @ Royal Park

MINOR SEMI FINAL: Devonport (3) v Burnie (4) @ Don Recreation Oval


PRELIMINARY FINAL: Loser Major Semi Final v Winner Minor Semi Final @ TBC


GRAND FINAL: Winner Major Semi Final v Winner Preliminary Final @ TBC