Eastwood crowned 2014 Magners Shute Shield Champions

Aug 16 • Australia, General News • 2419 Views • Comments Off on Eastwood crowned 2014 Magners Shute Shield Champions

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The Woodies have been crowned 2014 Magners Shute Shield Champions, claiming their first title since 2011 with a 31-13 win over Southern Districts today in front of a 7,000-strong crowd.

Their win capped a fantastic Grand Finals day, with Club Champions Sydney University claiming the Henderson Cup (for fourth grade) and Henderson Shield (third grade), with Manly lifting the Colin Caird Shield in second grade.

In a hard-fought match, the Woods trailed 6-0 in the early stages but showed their class and big-game experience to win through, outscoring Souths by three tries to one.

The title was coach John Manenti’s second title, “It feels great!” he said afterwards. “We’ve worked hard all year, I think there were a few people that doubted us mid-season, doubted we had the ability.”

Dealt a blow before kick-off with Ben Batger ruled out, Brad Curtis shifted to fullback with James Stannard coming onto the wing. But the changes did nothing to unsettle the Woods, who have had plenty to contend with all season. “The best thing about today was that there was only six players from last year’s team,” said Manenti.

“We’ve brought new players in, up from second grade and they all had to stand up. We had a few injuries and we had to overcome a bit of adversity and we did that really well,” he finished.

Crediting his team’s opponents, Manenti added, “They’ve done really well. The plan was to knock them out at the first encounter with them, they’ve done really well and they’ve probably done a lot of people a favour by knocking out who they have so fair credit to them, they’ve done really well.”

The win was Eastwood’s first premiership since 2011, when they beat Sydney University 19-16. And there was no hiding the jubilation for second-time winner, Eastwood’s inspirational captain Hugh Perrett, who was playing his 200th first grade game. “He’s outstanding,” admitted Manenti.

“What a credit, 200 first grade games, I don’t know if it’ll be done any more in this era. He’s a great leader, he hung out there and he fought through it. He was really great.”

The Rebels left nothing in the tank, throwing all they had at the Eastwood defensive line. The only man to break it on the day was flyhalf Ben Volavola, who notched up all his team’s 13 points.

“This experience will give us experience and exposure, exposure for the other guys who haven’t been in the team to finals footy and how you react when we get there. This will definitely help us for next year,” said Volavola.

Indeed it was Volavola’s boot that secured the Rebels’ progress, with last-gasp kicks seeing them past Sydney University in the semi-final.

“I’m very proud. We might be a young team but we’re a young, experienced team. This is the same group that won the second grade premiership in 2011, then played in the first grade grand final in 2012, but unfortunately went down there. To be in this Grand Final, we’ve come a long way.”

Volavola claimed his team’s first points of the final, slotting two penalty goals to give his side the early 6-0 lead before Tom Hill squared things up with two penalties of his own. Prop Jed Gillespie strolled over for the Wood’s first try, thanks to a well-worked lineout move, before Tom Hill added the extras to take Eastwood to a 13-6 half-time lead.

Hill got things underway in the second period, slotting a penalty goal before Jai Ayoub showcased his superior footwork to cross next to the posts.
Volavola replied with a try of his own but a final five-pointer from Woodies centre Michael McDougall sealed the win and, with it, the Woodies’ fourth Shute Shield title. .

Eastwood 31 (Jed Gillespie, Jai Ayoub, Michael McDougall tries; Tom Hill 3 cons, 4 pens) d Southern Districts 13 (Ben Volavola try; Ben Volavola con, 2 pens) at Concord Oval.

***

Second Grade Final – Colin Caird Shield
Manly 34 – Sydney University 13

The Manly Marlins became the second club to secure a 2014 grade title, upsetting the Students 34-13 to lift the Colin Caird Shield.

The Marlins put on a masterclass, running in four tries in the convincing win. With scores level at 6-all at half time, Manly came out firing in the second period, showcasing some superb running rugby skills to take the title.

Manly 34 (Chris Yarrington 2, Kasye Greer, Brendan Hartmann tries; Marshall Milroy 2 pens, Shaun Treweek 4 cons) d Sydney University 13 (James McMahon try; Jock Merriman con, Byron Hodge 2 pens) at Concord Oval.

***

Third Grade Final – Henderson Shield
Sydney University 31 – Warringah 8

The Students claimed the Henderson Shield with a 31-8 over Warringah in the third grade decider.

Despite leading throughout, Uni were consistently threatened as the Rats threw everything at them. The Students got off to a strong start, thanks to two penalties and a Jack Sullivan try, before the Rats hit back with a three-pointer of their own. The first of two penalty tries gave Uni a comfortable 21-3 lead but the Rats hit back with a try in the early stages of the second period.
Although the Rats worked hard, the University scrum proved just too strong, forcing a second penalty try after the Rats were reduced to 14 men.

Sydney University 31 (Jack Sullivan, Dane McCarthy tries; penalty tries 2; Dave Dillon 4 cons, pen) d Warringah 8 (Michael Edwards try; Michael Edwards pen) at Concord Oval.

***

Fourth Grade – Henderson Cup
Sydney University 20 – Eastwood 8

Sydney University took the first honours of 2014, winning the Henderson Cup fourth grade title for the second year running by defeating Eastwood 20-8.

The Students trailed by a point at half-time but were quick to get things going in the second period, slotting an early penalty goal. Despite pressuring the Students for most of the half, the Woods couldn’t find their way over and it was the Students’ defensive effort that won the day. With just moments left, the Minor Premiers trailed by five but a late try to the Students sealed the win.

Sydney University 20 (Rhys Griffiths, Fadi Saad tries; Will Macklin 2 cons, 2 pens) d Eastwood 8 (Dave Sutton try; Gerard McTaggart pen) at Concord Oval.

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