Around the Grounds: Upsets aplenty in Shute Shield finals

by RUGBY.com.au staff

There were stunning results right across the country as finals football clicked into gear.

RUGBY.com.au spoke to the coaches of the teams as they reflected on Saturday's action.

SHUTE SHIELD

Eastwood pulled off the upset of the weekend in the Shute Shield, defeating minor premiers Manly at Manly Oval on Saturday.

Waratah hooker Hugh Roach received a yellow card for the Woods for an illegal but even that couldn't stop his side’s 34-40 victory.

“We were confident we could produce that form, we have enough quality and have had enough success to believe we can win," Eastwood coach Stu Woodhouse said.

"We were good against Manly, but we need to be better against Norths."

While Woodhouse was left smiling, Marlins coach Brian Melrose was scathing.

“We just weren’t there, you couldn’t have scripted the first 20 minutes any worse," Melrose said.

"One team were playing sudden-death football and the other wasn’t."

The win means Eastwood face Norths next Sunday at North Sydney Oval for a spot in the grand final, while Manly will travel down the road to Pittwater Park to battle traditional rivals Warringah in search of a grand final berth.

Manly's loss means second seed Souths were knocked out of the competition, losing to defending premiers Norths at home on Sunday.

A try from Australian Sevens star Alex Gibbon was not enough for Souths, with Will Miller and Michael Wells influential in the upset.

The 18-47 thumping is the second year in a row the Rebels have been knocked out of the finals by the Shoremen, who will host Woodies next Sunday, looking for a second grand final berth in a row.

Warringah triumphed over Randwick at home in the third game of the weekend, winning their way through to a home semi-final derby with Manly.

There were plenty of Waratahs in action, with prop Sam Needs scoring a try for the Rats and Wicks flyhalf Andrew Deegan receiving a yellow card for an illegal tackle, as his side was knocked out of the competition.

QUEENSLAND PREMIER RUGBY

Jack Cornelsen starred for University. Photo: QRU Media/Meggie WhitchurchUniversity of Queensland set up a grand final blockbuster with GPS next weekend, defeating Sunnybank 39-19 at Ballymore.

“We went back to simple principles at training last week and we played those through in the game," UQ coach Mick Heenan said.

"We just need to be a bit more ruthless in the opposition area."

JOHN I DENT CUP

Wests have kept their dream of an improbable premiership alive, winning their way through to the grand final 23-16 and knocking Tuggeranong Vikings out.

Brumbies Ben Hyne and Jordan Jackson-Hope were casualties for Tuggeranong, whilst Brumby Nick Jooste kicked eight points in his side’s win.

DEWAR SHIELD

Melbourne have beaten Box Hill 30-27 in the Dewar Shield preliminary final, winning their way through to a grand final against Harlequin next week.

“With how we’ve played this season, we deserve to be here, but we probably fell into the crowd and the pressure last weekend,” Melbourne coach Tumai Edwards said.

PINDAN PREMIER GRADE

Associates booked their ticket into the Pindan Premier Grade grand final after shocking minor premiers Palmyra with a thrilling 20-21 win.

“It was great to come back in the last 10 minutes, it showed a lot of character to do so against the form team of the competition,” Associates coach Ryan Parkin said.

They will take on Wests Scarborough in the decider, who defeated Nedlands 32-29 in the other semi-final.

“We’re pretty happy, we dug deep and played our hearts out, but we do need to tighten up on defence and play smarter,” Wests coach Scott Batters said.