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Club Corner: Dewar Shield cancelled, Perth Finals Rugby continues, Finals commence in South Australia

Thu, 09/09/2021, 1:17 pm
Nick Wasiliev
by Nick Wasiliev

Club corner is back to preview the upcoming weekend of club footy across the country.

Last weekend saw the Queensland Premier Grade come to a thrilling climax, as GPS and UQ played out a classic match at Suncorp Stadium. The Red Heavies were not to be denied, solidifying their near perfect season with a 29-12 win, handing them their third title of the past five years. For GPS it was a simple case of so close, yet so far, with the match as a perfect closer to local rugby before the revised Rugby Championship takes centre stage in the Sunshine State. 

However, outside of Queensland the news was notably less positive for rugby in the Eastern States. The first big news came out of Melbourne, with Rugby Victoria announcing on Wednesday that the Dewar Shield will be cancelled in 2021.

‘Although Rugby Victoria considered several scenarios to play out the remaining games of the season, it has become apparent that it will not be possible in the current climate due to our key return to play dates passing with each lockdown extension enforced across the state. The current extension through September, with no guaranteed timeframe for a safe return to community sport, means there is no practical way of safely staging the remaining games of the season or the finals series,’ the official statement read.

‘We would like to express our gratitude towards our clubs, players, families, referees, volunteers and corporate partners for your patience, unwavering support and cooperation through what has been and continues to be an exceptionally difficult period for our community and our sport. We are proud of the commitment shown by our club and affiliate leaders to virtually meet, and work with us and each other, on a weekly basis throughout the Pandemic. It has brought us closer together as a Union and places us well for future years to come.’

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This announcement sees the Dewar Shield join the Shute Shield in the cancelled competitions for the year. Currently the only competition that still remains in limbo is the John I Dent Cup in Canberra, which has only one regular season round to go until finals. With the Grand Final originally scheduled for this weekend, it is likely a decision will be made regarding the 2021 season in the coming weeks. 

Club rugby continues in both the West and in the Garden State, as finals continue in Perth and commence in Adelaide. 

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RugbyWA's Walter Koteka in action in Premier Grade. Photo: RugbyWA

FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE - FINALS

This weekend sees finals continue in the West, following several big surprise results last week. The most notable included the demolition of Nedlands by Palmyra. In other matches, Kalamunda prevailed over Perth Bayswater in a thriller, Cottesloe put down a resilient UWA, and Nedlands defeated a similarly spirited Wanneroo. 

This weekend sees two critical clashes, the first being Wests Scarborough taking on Kalamunda. The Bulls have shown incredible resilience to make it this far despite having a more inconsistent season, but they’ll have a tough task as they face a determined Wests side looking to go deeper into the competition this year. 

Cottesloe will have a similarly tough ask, coming up against a Palmyra side that nearly put fifty on the minor premiers. While it’s too easy to say if Palmyra can keep this solid streak up, they definitely won’t be taking the current champions likely, as Cottesloe had to overcome an early season slump to make it into finals. 

There'll be a lot to play for this weekend in the west, so be sure to get along to a game and show your support! 

COOPERS PREMIER GRADE - FINALS

It’s the Semi-Finals in Adelaide, with only three games left in the season. While the four teams making the finals was a forgone conclusion, none of that matters now in the time of finals footy. 

First up, minor premiers Burnside will be coming up against a strong Southern Suburbs team, who have shown immense growth this season and put a stamp on being one of the teams to watch in the Adelaide competition. While they’ll likely be outsiders for this game, stranger things have happened, and a win here is within their reach, and would be a boil over if they achieved it. 

Meanwhile, current champions Brighton have their work cut out in the other semi-final of the weekend, as they face a strong Old Collegians outfit. While Brighton will likely still be favourites, this match will likely the clash of the weekend, as both sides have shown they can best each other multiple times across the course of this season.

They’ll be plenty of footy to enjoy this weekend, so be sure to get along to a game in Adelaide. 

Wherever you are this weekend, we hope you enjoy your club footy! We hope everyone stays safe.

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