Preview: Dewar Shield Grand Final - Green and Gold Rugby
Dewar Shield

Preview: Dewar Shield Grand Final

Preview: Dewar Shield Grand Final

On Saturday the Victorian Premier Grade will find its champion

The defending champions Harlequin are looking for their third Dewar Shield in a row, but the surprise package Melbourne Uni will fight for their first title since 1967.

The 2015 Grand Final of the Direct Connect Dewar Shield will not figure the minor premiers, Box Hill, which, after a dominating season, came home with wet sails. The Broncos lost the major semi-final against Harlequin and the preliminary final against Uni. To add insult to injury it will be played at their ground.

Lloyd Johansson and Pom Simona celebrate the 2014 Dewar Shield - photo provided by Harlequin

Lloyd Johansson and Pom Simona celebrate the 2014 Dewar Shield – photo provided by Harlequin

Behind Box Hill all season, both Harlequin and Melbourne Uni showed an equally exciting game, based more on solid structures in the set pieces than on pure attacking speed as the Broncos have done.

Harlequin has several players with experience at higher levels of rugby: Gus Hamilton, Sione Taufa and Pom Simona have played for the Melbourne Rising last year and will bring the experience from the national competition into the game.
Fly-half Lloyd Johansson is a former wallaby and full back Justin Marsters has played at international level with the Cook Islands.

The students will also display their talented players like Australian U20s representative prop Fereti Sa’aga and centre Taiso Leaana, both selected for the 2015 NRC, along with fullback Stacey Ili.
The task for the students is very hard given the better set up of the opponents, but they have proved to be able to beat them this year and in a final some players are able to tap into additional stamina and resources.
After a drought of 38 years, many supporters and past players will make their way to the Hill wishfully to see the students raising the Dewar Shield. Their support may prove crucial for the XV on the field.

The form

Both team come to this game firing: Harlequin, after a slow start of the tournament, which saw them go down against Uni and Box Hill in the first two games of the season, reverted back to their winning form. THe Qiuns dropped only another game to finish second overall.
Melbourne Uni contested the second place to Harlequin the whole season but came just short of the double chance. They have beaten twice Box Hill in the last month and their last loss was the 4th of July, when they went down 10 – 34 against the Quins.

The key players

The Harlequin forwards will have to set up the base for the attacking game, Sione Taufa and Pom Simona will have to shine.
For Melburne Uni we are expecting a good game from the front row, expecially  props Fereti Sa’ga and Matt Onesemo.

Prediction

It will be a close game, but the dual reigning champions have a better structure and have more experience to deal with the nerves of a grand final. They’ve proved it twice, they should win again. Additionally they have had a week rest when the Students were battling in the preliminary final against the Broncos

Harlequin by 5

Teams

Harlequin
1 Albert Tokahere, 2 Charles Paese, 3 Angus Arundel, 4 Angus Hamilton, 5 Murray Douglas, 6 Paul Graham, 7 Sione Taufa, 8 Pom Simona, 9 Maradona Farao, 10 Lloyd Johansson, 11 Majokah Schuster, 12 Leo Taliu, 13 Oliva Sialau, 14 Anipaterce Vaele, 15 Justin Marsters

Reserves: 16 William Ta’ufo’ou, 17 Jack Fitzgerald, 18 Zachary Dixon, 19 Simei Kolio, 20 Steve Cummins, 21 Joshua Meads, 22 Taylor Acheson, 23 Leo Owade

Melbourne uni
1 Fereti Sa’ga, 2 John Aho, 3 Matthew Onesemo, 4 Hughie Forbes, 5 Aaron Kelly, 6 Sunave Washburn, 7 Sam Bindon, 8 Netani Qicatabua, 9 Jack Jenkins, 10 Pena Iloa, 11 Josh Cocker-Valu, 12 Nuia Puaka, 13 Taiso Leanna, 14 Junior Nu’u, 15 Stacey Ili,

Reserves: 16 Lachie McRae, 17 A J Utopo, 18 Ioane Sefo, 19 Mike Lau Leong, 20 Jack Porritt, 21 TJ Taisi, 22 Silonga Leota, 23 Fala Sakaria

Referee: Oliver Kellet
Assistants: Beau Dean Gopser, Andrew Schwilk

Kick off  –  3:00 p.m. AEST Saturday 15 August at RHL Sparks Reserve, Canterbury Road Box Hill Victoria 

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the preview – I remember playing against Justin Marsters in high school, he was pretty good (certainly a different level to me!) with nice running lines and a decent kick but not very convincing taking the ball into contact, I assume he has fixed that, which would make him a handy player. Hope he has a good run!

  • I’mAnIdiot

    Somewhere in Australia, i bet a koala gives 2 fucks about this games. I don’t. All i want to see is Bledlsoe . Here in USA, our 3 major national TV Channels have decided not to air the game. I’m mad as Fuck. Go Wallabies.

    • Lee Grant

      Good choice of username.

  • James Buchanan

    ” came home with wet sails ” I think you are using this idiom incorrectly.

    • 22metri

      thanks mate, I’ve checked and I actually meant the opposit… always learning!

  • GoMelbRebels

    You should have added a zero to your predicted score and you would have been spot-on! What a rout! The Quins gave a lesson in try scoring!

Dewar Shield
@http://twitter.com/22metri

Diego Ghirardi is a rugby fanatic from Italy, living in Melbourne. Played on the wing, now mainly couch flanker or sideline halfback. Enjoys writing in broken English, which should be read in a Franco Cozzo accent to render it more original. In case you understand Italian, you can read his banters on http://australiasport.org or better not

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