Around the grounds: Rats into historic decider

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Warringah Rats have qualified to contest for their first Shute Shield title in 12 years, after usurping minor premiers Manly 27-17 in the third and final Battle of the Beaches of the year.

In an emotional season for the club, they toppled their fierce rivals, adding another thrilling chapter in the sides' rivalry and putting them in the mix for their first title win.

Former Aussies sevens representative Josh Holmes led the way with a double, with the Rats also fielding Waratahs squad members Maclean Jones and Sam Needs.

Maclean Jones and Josh Gillard tackle a Marlin. Photo: Karen WatsonWarringah will attempt to win their second Shute Shield premiership since their inception in 1964, to add to a 2005 title win over Sydney Uni whilst Manly’s dreams of a first title in 20 years came to an end.

Norths are into their second final in a row, beating Eastwood 42-32 as they look to go back-to-back for the first time since 1964, a year after their Final opponents were established.

Waratahs winger Cam Clark notched a try for Norths along the way, as they defied the odds to put themselves in the decider.

The Woods had NSW hookers Hugh Roach and Damien Fitzpatrick at their disposal in the knock-out semi.

Norths' win continues a stunning late-season revival for the Shoremen, who had to overcome a red-hot Souths outfit to make it through to the semis against the in-form 'Woods side.

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