FRIDAY NIGHT UNDER LIGHTS: Sydney University (1) 36 – 29 Eastern Suburbs (6)

A delighted Skipper Rohan O’Regan, Image: MC Photos

Sydney University hosted another Friday Night under lights against one of club rugby’s oldest rivals Eastern Suburbs, and boy what an exciting night it was!

Skipper Rohan O’Regan put the first points on the board for the Students after ten minutes, before Mack Mason kicked a successful conversion and Jack Grant went over for the Beasties. Both teams went on to score one try a piece before 3 unanswered tries to Sydney Uni left Easts gasping in the second half.

Easts quickly regathered to score 2 more tries but with a second try to James Kane, the hosts looked comfortable and in control of the contest. A result that sees the Students overtake Manly and return to the summit of the Shute Shield ladder.

Sydney University will venture West to take on Parramatta at Lidcombe Oval, while Eastern Suburbs will have a tough gig at home against Southern Districts who will be looking for the win in Round 14.

Sydney University

Tries: Rohan O’Regan, Theo Strang, Henry Clunies-Ross, James Kane (2), Conv: James Kane (2), Penalty Try
Eastern Suburbs
Tries: Jack Grant, William Paterson, Tim Buchanan, William Maddocks, Conv: Mack Mason (2), William Maddocks, Pen: Mack Mason

Second Grade: Sydney Uni  19 – 20 Eastern Suburbs, Third Grade: Sydney Uni 5 – 21 Eastern Suburbs, Fourth Grade: Sydney University 19 – 22 Eastern Suburbs

BATTLE OF THE BEACHES: Warringah (5) 20 – 20 Manly (2)

The battle of the beaches was always going to be a tough fight. Both sides hitting form, Manly sitting on top of the ladder, Warringah, the defending champions, only just behind.

Potu Leavasa braces for a Harry Bergelin tackle, Image: Karen Watson

The picture was set perfectly, a wild and woolly winters day, the crowd crammed into any patch of sunlight they could find, huddled against the cold breeze, and the reception Manly met on the field was just as chilly. They put those thoughts behind them and took the crowd out of the game the only way you can. While the Rats looked to be the better side in the first half, poor defensive laps put them in a precarious position. Manly finding holes and their speed out wide finishing the job.

Two tries and no response saw the Marlins head into the shed with a 17-3 lead at Rat Park and their heads held high. They knew the score didn’t reflect the game though and Warringah came out in the second half looking to bring their hillbillies back into the game. It took the bench to kick-start the action for Warringah with flanker Thomas Preece coming off the bench and scoring the first points of the second half.

Starting flanker Max Girdler wasn’t going to let him have all the glory, picking up the second try and bringing the Rats right back into it. Warringah had a much larger pack in terms of weight but the Marlins pushed them around with ease, bullying them at the scrum. At the end of the day, it was Manly who failed to win the game, blowing two run-away opportunities late in the game. Neither side giving up the chase a 20-all draw is probably the right result for the game. Both sides showed passion, aggression and immense skill. Manly now sit second and Warringah third with Sydney University moving back to the top of the ladder after their 36-29 victory over Eastern Suburbs.

Tries: Max Girdler, Thomas Preece, Conv: Hamish Angus (2), Pen: Hamish Angus (2)
Tries: Josh Turner, Samuel Lane Conv: Nicholas Holton (2) Pen: Nicholas Holton (2)

Second Grade: Warringah 27 – 12 Manly, Third Grade: Warringah 24 – 24 Manly, Fourth Grade: Warringah 10 – 5 Manly

BACK TO SOUTHS DAY: Southern Districts (8) 27 – 34 West Harbour (7)

Off the back of a bye and four straight losses, West Harbour we’re hungry for a win. Unfortunately for Southern Districts, they were the unlucky team to face the Pirates wrath.

With a score to settle, Ben Cotton scored the first points of the day with a try in the first minute, followed by a successful conversion.

Prop to Prop – Nigel Vaifale palms off Shambeckler Vui. Image: Jeremy Brennan

Despite the Rebels being at home, it wasn’t one of their best games, giving away 2 early penalties that surely went onto assist the Pirates triumph.

West Harbour’s deal sealer, however, was the magnificent intercept try from James Marsters – his second for the day pushing the Pirates ahead to 20 -34.

A try on the bell to Angus Ryan wasn’t enough for the Rebels, but it was good enough to secure the team two bonus points

Both teams will face tough opposition next week with West Harbour taking on Eastwood at home and Southern Districts against Eastern Suburbs at Woollahra Oval.

Southern Districts

Tries: Christian Kagiassis, Marcus Carbone, Matt Gibbon, Angus Ryan, Conv: Christian Kagiassis (2)
West Harbour
Tries: Benjamin Cotton, Justin Marsters (2), John Mokofisi, Conv: James Nunu Fainga’anuku Faiva (4), Pen: James Nunu Fainga’anuku Faiva (2)

Second Grade: Southern Districts 12 – 34 West Harbour, Third Grade: Southern Districts 23 – 19 West Harbour, Fourth Grade: Southern Districts 18 – 20 West Harbour

Eastwood (4) 53 – 36 Parramatta (10)

If one club dominates more at home than any other club, it’s Eastwood. The team racked up an early 19 point lead with three tries to Liam Windon, Pama Fou and Ed Craig respectfully, veteran Jai Ayoub slotting all three conversions.

But Parramatta were hanging on whether the Woodies liked it or not and Hayden Cole and Andrew Vatuevei soon hit back. The day turned into a try-scoring fest with 15 meat pies between the clubs.

Liam Windon caught in the fray, Image: Sergio Gonzalez

Aside from their Round 4, 37-26 win over Gordon, this was the first time the Two Blues notched up as many points, securing 6 tries. Maybe the announced of the name change in 2019 reinvigorated the team?

Into the second half, Eastwood seemed to have taken a step back, letting Parramatta score three unanswered tries to Sevaro Domoni, No.2 and Brand Fa’avae-Eli respectfully. Unfortunately, this was not enough to secure a win, but it did secure them one bonus point which Parramatta have not achieved in some rounds.

Eastwood on the other hand, also secure a bonus point win and now sit fourth on the ladder after triumphs in their last 4 out of 5 games. Finals footy never looked so good for the Woods.

Eastwood will go on to face West Harbour at Concord Oval, and Parramatta will have a tough gig against Sydney University at home.

Tries: Liam Windon, Pama Fou (2), Ed Craig, Fabian Goodall (2), George Kent, Joshua Nohra, Patrio Sio, Conv: Jai Ayoub (2), Liam Windon (2)
Tries: Hayden Cole, Andrew Vatuvei, Niko Malo, Sevaro Domoni, No.20, Brandon Fa’avae-Eli, Conv: Liam Tully (3)

Second Grade: Eastwood 62 – 0 Parramatta, Third Grade: Eastwood 93 – 7 Parramatta, Fourth Grade: Eastwood 14 – 24 Parramatta


NORTH SHORE BATTLE: Northern Suburbs (3) 46 – 25 Gordon (11)

Slightly overshadowed by the Battle of the Beaches, nonetheless, the Shoremen and Stags faced their own North Shore Battle over the weekend.

Although no wins under their belt yet, Gordon are starting to show real form in their game under new head coach Kolose Feaunati. With no chance to make finals, the Stags are aiming to finish the season strong with their sights already set ahead to 2019.

Sam Leeming going for gold, Image: Gordon

Stag Sam Leeming single handily put Gordon ahead 10-13 when he kicked two penalties, scored a try, followed with a successful conversion early in the first half. Unfortunately, Northern Suburbs also had their own score to settle after coming off a three-loss streak and a bye.

They treated the fans to four unanswered tries in the second half before Gordon found some extra gas in the tank and hit back with two of their own. Nick Duffy and Irae Simone both bagged doubles which helped cement the Shoremen’s win. The Stags just needed one more to try to secure a bonus point, but the Shoreman receive theirs and now sit in third place on the ladder.

A big game for Gordon as they face their 2018 rivals Warringah, to whom they lost by a measly point a few rounds back, where Northern Suburbs will gain yet another bye in Round 14.

Northern Suburbs
Tries: Richard Woolf, Ezra Luxton, Taylor Francis, Irae Simone (2), Nick Duffy (2), Con: Angus Sinclair (4), Pen: Angus Sinclair
Tries: Samuel Leeming, Marcus Hundt, Patric Tulafasa, Con: Samuel Leeming (2), Pen: Samuel Leeming (2)

Second Grade: Northern Suburbs 54 – 7 Gordon, Third Grade: Northern Suburbs 32 – 5 Gordon, Fourth Grade: Northern Suburbs 19 – 0 Gordon