Eastwood have held on to top spot after securing a 35-31 victory over Southern Districts, despite playing the majority of the match with just 14 men.
A red card to in the first half didn’t stop the Woodies from holding on to grind out a 35-31 win over Southern Districts at T.G. Millner Field.
The win was a courageous one for Eastwood who looked to have too much to do, after a red card to flanker Aisea Namoa allowed Souths to turn a 12-point deficit into a six-point advantage. But the Woodies played to their strengths, keeping the ball tight and grinding out a win to secure top spot on the Shute Shield ladder after 11 rounds.
In other round 11 matches, a double to Waratahs centre Tom Carter helped Sydney University defeat Parramatta 38-5 at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park, while a massive eight-try haul by West Harbour ensured a solid 48-36 victory over Randwick at Coogee Oval.
A double to Michael Dalton helped Warringah defeat Penrith 47-10 at Pittwater Rugby Park and an impressive hat-trick of tries by Manly’s Richard Hooper guaranteed a 29-0 victory over Gordon at Chatswood Oval.
Eastwood 35 (Chris Hill, Miles McCaffrey, Tom Alexander, Lachlan Turner, Tim Williams tries; Ben Batger 2 cons, 2 pens) d Southern Districts 31 (Marcus Heather, Matt Swann, Grayson Hart, Apo Latunipulu, Nicky Price tries; Rohan Saifoloi 3 cons)
Three quick tries to Eastwood, including one to HSBC Waratah Lachie Turner, put the Woodies out to a 17-5 lead. It was short lived, as Namoa was red carded for a tip tackle, allowing Southern Districts to capitalise for the remainder of the half, going in 26-20 ahead at the break.
With 14 men on the field, Eastwood’s hopes looked slim and a try to Souths’ centre Apo Latunipulu looked to have put the game to rest. A try each to replacement winger Tim Williams and lock Tom Alexander helped them regain the lead. A Ben Batger penalty goal forced Southern Districts to go for a try with 10 minutes to play, but they couldn’t land the killer blow.
Eastwood held out for a courageous win that keeps them in the top spot on the Shute Shield ladder after 11 rounds.
Sydney University 38 (2 Tom Carter, Sam Talakai, Matt Schwager, James McMahon, Angus Roberts tries; Daniel Kelly 3 cons) d Parramatta 5 (Maile Latukefu try)
It was Back to Parra Day at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park and many were predicting an ambush of the Students. However it wasn’t to be as the Sydney University juggernaut rolled on with two impressive tries to HSBC Waratah Tom Carter. The victory sees the Students bounce back after losing to Eastwood last weekend and pushes them into second spot on the Shute Shield ladder.
The defeat hands Parramatta their second loss in as many weeks and will leave them needing the bye week to regather after an impressive season so far which has seen them stay in the top six for the majority of 2012.
Warringah 47 (2 Michael Dalton, Luke Holmes, Tim Donlan, Hamish Angus, Edward Doyle tries; Hamish Angus 2 cons 3 pens, Josh Smith 2 cons) d Penrith 10 (Tala Mapesone try; Fred Tuua con, pen)
Warringah pick up an important psychological win over Penrith as the two teams look set to play each other again after the split. Rats flyhalf Hamish Angus picked up an impressive 18 points to help secure his team a home victory. The Emus were looking for their fourth win of the season which would have allowed them to leapfrog the Rats on the Shute Shield ladder.
West Harbour 48 (2 Shaun Treweek, 2 Michael Alaalatoa, Barton Jones, Tevita Havea, Oleni Ngungutau, Kiwi Kapene-Belcher tries; Kiwi Kapene-Belcher 4 cons) d Randwick 36 (Peter Samu, Toby Browne, Tom Joseph, Ethan Ford, Keith Masima tries; Toby Browne 4 cons, pen)
A massive eight-try haul saw West Harbour smash Randwick at Coogee Oval. Thirteen points to Kiwi Kapene-Belcher on his maiden first grade appearance of 2012 was a highlight in the Pirates’ victory.
The points were piled on early but Randwick responded and kept in touch throughout the match. But the Pirates never looked like losing and take the points in a great team victory.
Manly 29 (3 Richard Hooper, Jordy Reid, Josh Mann-Rae tries; Josh Mann-Rae con, Marshall Milroy con) d Gordon 0
Manly winger Richard Hooper, brother of Brumbies’ flanker Michael Hooper, grabbed three tries in an impressive bonus point win over Gordon at Chatswood Oval.
The Highlanders were wearing pink to mark their Ladies Day but it was the Marlins who upset the big crowd on the day, with their NSW hooker Josh Mann-Rae getting in on the action, scoring and converting his own try.
Eastern Suburbs and Northern Suburbs will complete their round 11 match next Saturday, whilst all the other 10 Shute Shield teams enjoy a bye before the table is split for the remaining five rounds. The draw for rounds 12 to 16 will be determined by the Club Championship standings, with the top six and bottom six in this table to play each other for those five rounds. Points from these games will continue to count towards the Shute Shield ladder, with the top eight teams on the Shute Shield ladder after round 16 progressing to play in the finals series, which starts on 28 August and wraps up with the Grand Final on 15 September.
Thanks once again to Nick Halfhide and the NSWRU for this week’s review.