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The match dubbed ‘Battle for the East’ between Randwick and Eastern Suburbs for the Greg Smith Cup was played in perfect conditions at Woollahra Oval, and was a tightly fought contest with Randwick showing superiority from the outset. A resurgent Easts side fought back in the latter stages of the match, but were unable to catch their local rivals and Randwick won the local derby 32-24.

A star studded Randwick side, including a cameo from former Waratah and Wallaby Adam Freier on the bench, were looking to score points from a penalty kick in the third minute of the match, but it wasn’t to be after an uncharacteristic miss from David Horwitz.

The dynamic Randwick fullback Andrew Kellaway, recently returned from national Under-20s duty, was the catalyst for a try by winger Jack Pennington just two minutes later, Horwitz returned to form and a 7-0 lead was established for the visiting side.

A rookie mistake from Easts halfback Angus Pulver lead to an almost-certain try from the resulting turnover, but ball-mishandling served only to gain Randwick some territory and they were able to follow up just minutes later with another try, this time to centre Henry Hutchison with the extras added by Horwitz.

Easts recovered to get on the board in the 15th minute, with fly-half Archie King scoring and converting his own try and narrowing the lead to seven points, Randwick up 14-7.

A yellow card to Randwick prop Toa Asa in the 24th minute slowed the momentum of the match, and treatment to Ned Hannigan from the same team resulted in a short break. Easts were pushing hard to score a try from several scrums near the line, and a bullet pass from Archie King to Liam Faughlin resulted in reward from their concerted effort.

Scores were tied at 14-14 with ten minutes to go, and Randwick looked almost rattled by the resurgent home side until David Horwitz edged them ahead with another penalty goal. Horwitz’s momentum built, and scored and converted his own try with just three minutes to go until the half-time break, with Randwick ahead 24-14.

A penalty goal to Easts with under a minute to play in the half narrowed Randwick’s lead to seven points, going into the break 24-17.

Kellaway showed his class in the third minute of the second half, scoring a spectacular try in the corner, unfortunately his Waratahs teammate Horwitz was unable to add the extras – but Randwick’s lead extended to 12 points, 29-17.

Easts scored from a lineout just out from the try line, via Fergus Lee-Warner and converted by Archie King, taking the score to 29-24 to Randwick.

A spectacular run from Randwick halfback Mitch Short took the ball back into Easts’ territory, but composed pressure applied by the home side forced the error from Randwick.

A host of replacements from both sides in the 65th minute saw some fresh legs injected into the game, but the scoreline remained the same until Randwick slotted a penalty goal with less than ten minutes to go, taking their lead to eight points until the conclusion of the match.



Eastern Suburbs v Randwick
Woollahra Oval – 3.00pm
Referee: James Leckie
ARS: Tim Wills, Matt Kellahan
Randwick 32 (J Pennington, H Hutchinson 2, A Kellaway tries; D Horwitz 3 goals, 1 penalty goal, A Deegan 1 penalty goal) beat Eastern Suburbs 24 (F Lee-Warner, A King, L Moylan tries; A King 1 goal, 2 penalty goals)

Gordon v Parramatta
Chatswood Oval – 3.00pm
Referee: Ian Smith
Gordon 49 (J Dempsey 2, W Shirvington 2, A Chapman, P Curtin, M Mc Dougall tries; W Shirvington 7 goals)  beat Parramatta 40 (P Satogo 3, T Muli 2, J Holden, K Lalaga, S Tevita tries; N Langsford 4 goals, L Hermens 1 goal)

West Harbour v Eastwood
Concord Oval – 3.00pm
Referee: Will Houston
Eastwood 36 beat West Harbour 12

Manly v Northern Suburbs
Manly Oval – 3.00pm
Referee: Richard Goswell
Manly 39 (J Fakai 2, D Maraki, S Lane, A Northam, R Hooper tries; R Hodge 3 goals, 1 penalty goal) beat Northern Suburbs 24 (T Rota, B Matwijow, J Heyer tries; M Walton 3 goals, 1 penalty goal)

Penrith v Warringah
Nepean Rugby Park – 3.00pm
Referee: Anthony Moyes
Warringah 69 (J Holmes 5, J Forbes 2, R O’Connor, S Crompton, B Killingworth, S Wileman tries; H Angus 5 goals, J Meredith 2 goals) beat Penrith 17 (S Pusi’aki Fifita 2 tries; P Ironside 2 goals, 1 penalty goal)

Sydney University v Southern Districts
University Oval No 1 – 3.00pm
Referee: Andrew Lees
Southern Districts 31 (P Asquith 2, A Gibbon, J Holloway tries; B Volavola 1 gola, 3 penalty goals) beat Sydney University 10 (B Hodge, G Jeloudev tries)

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