Can Harlequins make it four in a row, or will we see a new champion in 2016?
About the Dewar Shield
The Dewar Shield is the premier grade Rugby competition in Victoria. Nine teams compete for the Dewar Shield; Footscray, Melbourne University, Endeavour Hills, Harlequins, Moorabbin, Southern Districts, Power House, Melbourne and Box Hill. A home-and-away format is run over 18 rounds, with the top four playing in a knockout finals series.
For the last three seasons, Harlequins have won the Dewar Shield. Competition is expected to intensify this season, with Box Hill and Melbourne University in the mix for premiership glory.
Round 1 Preview
In a battle of contrasts, Harlequins will play against Endeavour Hills Eagles. The Eagles finished last in the regular season and on paper, Harlequins would be expected to win this match comfortably. The ‘Quins are known for slow starts to the season, so anything could happen.
Footscray will host the surprise packet of season 2015, Melbourne University. Blessed with a good mix of playing and coaching talent, the Students made last year’s Grand Final for the first time in decades. No doubt they will look to go one better this season.
Powerhouse, without their regular home ground unavailable (something about a Grand Prix), will host Melbourne at Newport. Powerhouse will look to improve on a disappointing 2015 season, whilst Melbourne will seek to improve on their top four finish from last year.
The Southern Districts Pirates will host the Moorabbin Rams as the neutral venue of Casey Fields. Moorabbin were unlucky not to play in the finals last year and will look to improve this season. The Pirates will look to build a strong team and push the strong clubs for a place in the finals.
The Box Hill Broncos have the bye for round one. They will start their season after the Easter break.
Round 1 Schedule
All games to start at 3:10 p.m.
Moorabbin – Southern Districts (Casey Fields, Cranbourne East)
Endeavour Hills – Harlequins ( Frog Hollow Reserve, Endeavour Hills)
Footscray – Melbourne University (Henry Turner South Reserve, Footscray)
Power House – Melbourne (Loft Reserve, Newport)
Bye: Box Hill
The 2016 Dewar Shield drawn can be found here.
Melbourne Rebels and the Dewar Shield Clubs
As per previous years, each team is allocated four to five Melbourne Rebels players. From training to playing, you will see a number of Rebels involved in the local clubs.
Rebels play allocations are as follows:
Box Hill: Ben Meehan, Pat Leafa, Sefa Naivalu, Jamie Hagan.
Endeavour Hills, Nic Stirzaker, Jack Debrezceni, Sean McMahon, Siliva, Toby Smith.
Footscray: Cullum Retallick, Lopeti Timani, Cruz Ah Nau, Colby Fainga’a.
Harlequins: Paul Asquith, Tom Moloney, Steve Cummins, James Hanson.
Melbourne Unicorns: Jordy Reid, Mick Snowden, Reece Hodge, Cam Crawford.
Melbourne University: Tom English, Dom Shipperley, Sam Jefferies, Jonah Placid, Rob Leota.
Powerhouse: Dan Hawkins, Ryan Cocker, Harley Fox, Adam Thomson.
Moorabbin: Scott Fuglistaller, Luke Jones, Tamati Ellison, Tim Metcher.
Southern Districts: Laurie Weeks, Mitch Inman, Mike Harris, Sione Tuipulotu.