The Galloping Greens have recorded their first win of the season, holding off a second half Parramatta resurgence to record an impressive 37-24 victory at Coogee Oval.
Helped by the return of prodigal son, Tatafu Polota-Nau, the Two Blues scored three tries in 15 minutes after the break but were unable to hold the Galloping Greens who had scored four tries for a bonus point within the first half, winning the match 37-24.
In other games, Manly also welcomed back a long-absent HSBC Waratahs player of their own Wycliff Palu, who came off the bench for his first appearance in four years to add just that extra skill set to the Marlins against West Harbour at Manly Oval. Manly were just too strong for the Pirates winning the match 54-14.
Souths held the match against Easts at Forshaw Park, Gordon ran away with the win at Nepean Rugby Park and the Woodies outplayed the Students at Sydney University Oval.
In a welcome return to Friday evening rugby, Norths took on Warringah at home, with a heartbreaking loss in the last five minutes for the Rats after leading throughout the match. With the lights back on at North Sydney Oval, the Rats struggled to hold the Shoremen out losing the match 15-14.
Randwick v Parramatta
A game of two halves, Randwick just held onto their lead in the second half after a second half resurrection from the Two Blues. After leading the game 31-3 at half time, the Galloping Greens looked set to have an easy win; however, the Two Blues came back in the second half scoring three tries in 15 minutes
“We had all the possession and we executed well,” said Randwick flyhalf Toby Browne. “In the second half we relaxed a bit and sort of lost it a bit in defence. Full credit to Parramatta who came back strong in the second half.”
Attributing the performance to a bit week’s training, as well as the return of Polota-Nau, Two Blues’ Nick Blacklock said, “We went to training on Tuesday and worked on a couple things and Tatafu made all the defence really tight and it was all go, go, go.
“We just need to play direct, we get a little flashy sometimes. We just need to be smarter sometimes, so back to the drawing board.”
The Wicks opened up the scoring within ten minutes with a penalty and soon found themselves crossing the line four times throughout the half. After a great backline play, which saw winger Ethan Ford, tiptoe along the sideline making great metres before he gave the inside ball to Mark Katezcky for his first try.
Three more tries were scored in the half, including a second to Mark Kotezcky, with flyhalf Toby Browne converting every try as well as every penalty. The Two Blues finally put some points on the board, converting a penalty in the 30th minute. The score at half time was a blow out 31-3.
The Two Blues fought back in the second half, scoring three consecutive tries, before the Wicks posted another three points in the last minutes of the match.
Parramatta were dominant in every scrum, winning several against the head, however they were unable to catch up to the Wicks who had posted such a large score in the first 40. Randwick held out winning the match 37-24.
Randwick 37 (Faitotoa Asa, Mark Kotezcky 2, Tim Wright tries; Toby Browne 4c, 3p) d Parramatta 24 (Andrew Cox, Damien Fakafanua, Tom Woods tries; Dan Rawaqa 3c, 1p)
Northern Suburbs v Warringah
Warringah were unlucky to lose the match in the last minute, after dominating possession and leading for most of the game. The Rats’ attack dominated for most of the game with the Shoremen unable to hold onto the ball and create many point scoring opportunities. The night match was welcomed back at the oval, with fans from both sides making their voices heard throughout the game. Heartbreakingly for the Rats, the Shoremen found their rhythm within the last five minutes, making their way to the try line with Corey Brown converting the try metres in from the side line on the bell.
Northern Suburbs 15 (A.J. Gilbert, Peter Schuster tries; Corey Brown 1c, Scott Daruda 1p) d Warringah 14 (Nathan Daly, Luke Holmes tries; Dave Harvey 2c) at North Sydney Oval. Referee Jamie McGregor.
Southern Districts v Eastern Suburbs
Souths just held Easts out after a match that saw each team fight for dominance. The Rebels opened up the scoring after 10 minutes, and held the lead for most of the match with only a short period of time that the Beasties held the lead. With both teams responding to the others point scoring, the battle ensued for the whole match with the Rebels unable to hold a strong lead. A last minute penalty to the Rebels saw the side take back the lead and win the match 28-27.
Southern Districts 28 (Duncan Chubb, Grayson Hart tries; Rohan Saifoloi 2c, 3p) d Eastern Suburbs 27 (Sione Kolo, Kuki Ma’afu tries; Henry Hudson 2c, 1p; Angus Sinclair 1c, 1p) at Forshaw Park. Referee Anthony Moyes.
Gordon v Penrith
Gordon was just too good for Penrith, moving the ball along the backline creating gaps within the Penrith defence and charging over the line six times. A fast flowing game, it was a match of classic running rugby. The Emus had lots of spirit and tried hard to keep the Highlanders out, but the Highlanders were too strong and drove themselves to cross the line.
Gordon 42 (Tom Mathews, Terry Preston 2, Luke Riseman, Lucas Simkin, Will Shirvington tries; Terry Preston 6c) d Penrith 5 (John Maumau try) at Nepean Rugby Park. Referee Nathan Pearce.
Eastwood v Sydney University
Eastwood recovered from last week’s surprising lose at home to Souths with a fast attacking win over Sydney Uni 34-13. The Woodies used all the possession they had to get over the line five times, for a bonus point win. The Students weren’t strong enough in defence to hold the Woodies back, but were still able to cross the line for a try.
Eastwood 34 (Marty Ploksys, Nick Reily 2, Tyler Spitz, Lachie Turner try; James Hilgendorf 3c, 1p; Yellow Card Mitch Lees, Hugh Perrett) d Sydney University 13 (Michael Hodge try; Daniel Kelly 1c, 2p) at University oval. Referee Matt O’Brien.
Manly v West Harbour
Manly were just too good for West Harbour, who were unable to steal the win like they had in the first round, going down to the Marlins 54-14. The Marlins were just too strong in attack, crossing the line eight times for a strong bonus point win. NSW forward Wyliff Palu came off the bench five minutes into the second half making several big hits as well as a few runs, giving the Marlins just an extra skill set up front.
Manly 54 (Harry Bergelin, Tim Fairbrother, Peter Gilmore, Richard Hooper, Damien Reti, Brian Sefanaia 3 tries; BJ Hartman 7c) d West Harbour 14 (Alofa Alofa 2 tries; Winston Wilson 2c)
The 2013 competition will be broadcast live on ABC1 throughout NSW and the ACT on Saturdays from 3pm. Interstate viewers can watch a full replay of each week’s Shute Shield game at 3.30am on Tuesday mornings on ABC1 nationally and rugby fans everywhere can catch all the action online at anytime on ABC iView
Alternatively, rugby fans across NSW can tune in to ABC Local Radio’s new rugby show, Settling the Score with Niav Owens between 2pm and 5pm every Saturday, for all of your country rugby and Shute Shield news. You can TEXT the program with score updates from whichever game you're at on 0467 920 222
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