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R2 Gordon V Eastwood

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Tom Lawton (22)
Eastwood v Gordon

Eastwood (1-15)

Sam Needs, Hugh Roach, Rob Lagudi, James Neale, Tom Alexander, Michael Kovacic, Hugh Perrett, Pat Sio, Mick Snowden, Jai Ayoub, John Grant, Mike McDougall, Tom Hill, Ben Shorter, Ben Batger.

Gordon (1-15)

Lefu Laopo, Ash Goddard, Tobias Guikabau, Ruiradh Wilson, Andrew Chapman, Jack Dempsey, Rohan Pixley, Harry Rorke, Terry Preston, Henry Carmichael, Matt McDougall, Tom Matthews, Lucas Simkin, Brandon Quinn, Lachlan Mitchell.


Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Good to see some of the Highlanders faithful getting some club banter going on G&GR. It is a really positive sign for "the revival".


Trevor Allan (34)
Assuming Roach won't play. I think the Gordon forward pack will do OK if the set piece can stand up.

Going to have to keep the game plan simple in the backs though and get Tom Matthews over the advantage line.

The Eastwood backs are a tad more experienced than the Highlanders.


Tom Lawton (22)
I think we will be very competitive and will be nothing like last seasons early round encounter. You are right AD the set piece will be important and for that reason I'm surprised they retained Goddard at hooker. His throws last week resembled a pie-chucker and our lineout suffered as a result.

Pixley is an absolute pest at the breakdown and he will test the Woods there. And I think this is an area we might have an edge.

The battle of the backs will be interesting. There's plenty of pace in ours so I hope we get to see them run the ball. Our D will have to be strong. Matthews and Simkin are strong defenders. I hope Quinn doesn't have to mark up big John Grant because that has the potential to get pretty ugly.


Tom Lawton (22)
Woodies showed what a strong club they are by outclassing us. Up to around the 65th minute we were still in the game. Then Woods turned it up a couple of notches and we couldn't go with them.

Keep the faith peeps. IMO this is a better team than last years. Uni will be a good test to see where we are at.


Tom Lawton (22)
But I did like these results posted by HJ in the other blog;

W. McMahon Memorial Shield - Colts 1
Eastwood 17 Gordon 22

Shell Trophy - Colts 2
Eastwood 20 Gordon 29

Bill Simpson Shield - Colts 3
Eastwood 0 Gordon 52


Tom Lawton (22)
Shute Shield Rd 2: Patchy Eastwood Cruise To Victory In the End
Posted by Paul Cook on 31st March, 2015 in Club Rugby, Rugby News

Ordinarily, two bonus point wins, 14 tries and 115pts from the first two games of a title defence would have a head coach purring but, despite such stats, Eastwood supremo John Manenti wasn’t waxing lyrical after he watched his side see off Gordon 62-28 at Chatswood Oval on Saturday.

The scoreline belied the scratchiness of the performance; a mixture of early season rustiness from the visitors and early game doggedness on the part of the Highlanders – so much so that the score was still only 27-21 after 50 minutes. But the Woodies finally clicked, their bench contributing plenty as Gordon faded in what proved to be a lethal combination, five tries in the last half hour telling its own story.

The visitors were out of the blocks early, impressive young winger Ben Shorter backing up his opening day hat-trick with another in the first minute. But according to Woodies’ scrumhalf Mick Snowden, it had an adverse affect. “It was actually the worst thing we could have done because everyone just shuts down and thinks the game’s done,” he explained. “It’s definitely something we have to work on.”
Perhaps preying on Eastwood’s sudden complacency, the home side stuck to their game plan, flooding the breakdown, choking the Woodies behind the gain line and unafraid to run the ball when the opportunity arose. Such was the case in the 9th minute, a quickfire counter from deep finished off by Terry Preston for Henry Carmichael to convert and level proceedings.

The score imbued an increasing rustiness from Eastwood, sloppy passes to ground or behind runners were prevalent and a reluctance to build phases and hold possession kept a frustrated Manenti vocal on the sideline as he implored his charges to greater patience.

A Ben Batger penalty edged them ahead somewhat against the run of play but as the Woodies finally started to settle, find space down the flanks and create some overlaps, Gordon creaked under the pressure and one offside too many saw fullback Lachlan Mitchell go to the bin. Eastwood took the scrum option, shifted it wide and used the numbers for Shorter to bag his second.

Gordon were starting to fall off tackles and it wasn’t long before Eastwood’s deadly backs struck again, a lovely step from Tom Hill and centre partner Michael McDougall was in support for try number three. But just as the game was slipping away from them, the Highlanders cut a significant break.

Eastwood should have scored again when they had numbers on the left flank but a loose pass from flyhalf Jai Ayoub was plucked from the air by Matt McDougall, who went 70 metres to score. John Grant’s valiant chase forced him to the corner, which scuppered Carmichael’s conversion to leave the scoreboard showing 24-12.
A Batger penalty after the bell restored a healthy advantage for the visitors at the break and a good opening quarter from the Highlanders had seemingly gone to waste.

But Manenti’s half-time call for discipline seemingly fell on deaf ears as Eastwood returned to the fray and subsequently coughed up three kickable penalties in 10 minutes to gift their opponents a route back into contention.

Henry Carmichael slotted all three with aplomb and at 27-21, and with Gordon’s confidence rising, we were set fair for an interesting last half hour. Or so it seemed.
Instead, Gordon were guilty of switching off from the restart and with their next attack, Eastwood’s forwards piled on the pressure to skittle the Highlanders defence and leave the ever alert Mick Snowden to pounce for the bonus point try. Revolt suitably quelled.
It was almost game over when the Woodies forged the move of the match on 62 minutes. A terrific counter attack which went coast to coast and through several pairs of hands ended with the predatory Shorter beating the desperate lunge of a flying Highlander to dive for the corner, flag and all.

But just as he began to celebrate his second hat-trick in two weeks, the touch judge intervened to rule that he had in fact touched the line before grounding the ball. Rules is rules but it was one of those tries that you wished could have been awarded for sheer style if not its ultimate execution.

No matter, the Woodies shrugged it off, kept their foot on the throat and a few minutes later, saw Snowden take the plaudits once again for his fine opportunism to make it 41-21.

The wheels continued to fall off the Gordon chariot as both coaches went to the bench and Eastwood exhibited their greater strength in depth, kicking down the home straight at a canter with another three tries.

First up was big, bad Jared Barry, the Woodies’ enforcer returning to 1st Grade after breaking his hand in a pre-season trial, and celebrating with a trademark ‘Don’t argue’ and the swatting away of three defenders on the line to go under the posts.

With the job now done, Eastwood switched off in defence, Gordon replacement Mark Johnson rumbling home for a consolation. But a minute later the tiring hosts conceded another, Eastwood going through the hands for Michael McDougall to grab his second.

The agony was complete for the home side when the long, loping strides of John Grant took him clear for the 11th – and final – five pointer of the day a couple of minutes from time. But while the winners mentality of Manenti and Snowden rued a lacklustre performance, the warning for everyone else is in the competition is that Eastwood still won at a relative canter, despite being decidedly average, and still have several more gears in their locker.

Eastwood 62 (Ben Shorter 2, Mick Snowden 2, Michael McDougall 2, Jared Barry, John Grant tries; Ben Batger 8 cons, 2 pens) defeated Gordon 28 (Terry Preston, Matt McDougall, Mark Johnson tries; Henry Carmichael 2 cons, 3 pens)



Tom Lawton (22)
Grade Report Round One vs Eastwood

1st Grade v. Eastwood

By Henry Carmichael

Coming off a win in the 1st round against Eastern Suburbs, the Gordon 1st grade team was keen to test themselves against last year’s premiers Eastwood. Things did not start well for the highlanders though conceding some early points to the woods, however the team was able to work their way back into the match with tries to Terry Preston and Matt McDougall and 3 penalty goals to Henry Carmichael leaving the score at 21-27 mid way through the second half. Too their credit the Eastwood team showed why they were last years premiers lifting in the last 20 minutes to see off the Gordon fight back. A try to Mark Johnson late in the match gave Gordon a chance at ending the game with a 4 try bonus point but it was to no avail as Eastwood finished the game off strongly to run out 62-28 victors.

2nd Grade v. Eastwood

Scott Pursell
Second grade were hungry to get their first result of the season against Eastwood, on a picturesque day at Chatswood Oval. The home team were off to a great start, with Sione Ale creating space for the flying Michael Manners who secured the first 5-pointer of the match. Although Eastwood certainly came to play, with sound structure and proper execution that made it tough to defend throughout the game. The visitors were able to capitalise on mistakes and create holes in the defence to comeback and regain the lead. However with a tactical 3-pointer by Will Shirvington and a late try from Sebastian Murphy, the home team still a strong chance to come back going into half time. After the break, Eastwood came out firing and persisted with their structure that resulted in a number of quick tries. Even with the inclusion of the experienced Mark Preston, who returned to bolster the midfield, the visitors were still too strong and the highlanders bowed out in defeat 45-15. Next week they meet Sydney Uni and will look to come away with a positive result and redeem themselves.

3rd Grade v. Eastwood
Andrew Seton

Third grade continued its frustrating start to the season with a 50-19 loss to Eastwood at Chatswood Oval for the first home game of the season. The forward pack was significant strengthened during the week with Ben Lawley and Cam Thorburn making comebacks from injuries. A very strong Eastwood side got off to an early start posting points before the Gordon boys had an opportunity to build any sort of momentum with the ball in hand. Defensivley, the team was working well together but one or two lapses led to long range tries to the woods. Despite this, the stags were able to stay in touch, with Tim Lloyd scoring a great try under the sticks. Just before half time, Jim Handlin showed some surprising speed with a long distance run down the sideline, with Andrew Seton finishing off his good work with a try in the Gordon corner. Heading into half time the stags were still in with a shot. One more try to Cam Thorburn in the second half was not enough to keep up with the Eastwood team, who took advantage of more possession and ran away with the 50-19 result.

The Gordon scum performed significantly better than round one, which was encouraging, although the lineout was not as effective as the previous week. The backline also showed a threat to breaking the line numerous times, but the whole team lacked the right execution. An inability to string phases together is a key area to improve on for next round, as well as the team finding the confidence to play an exiting and structured brand of rugby has not yet been showcased.

Despite this, the team has vowed to make more of an effort at training next week, and with the right mentality at training and on Saturday morning, the third grade boys should be confident that we can turn things around against Sydney Uni and come away with a result that we know we are capable of achieving.

4th Grade v. Eastwood

Michael Balk
Coming up against last years grand finalists 4th grade were looking to bounce back from last week's disappointing loss. In the first half the possession was extremely one-sided against the stags, which led to a huge amount of defensive work for the boys. Unable to string together multiple phases Gordon went into the sheds trailing a very well organised Eastwood side 25-0.

The focus for the second half was to attack the breakdown and win some ball so Gordon's backline could have a crack at the woodies. With a bit more ball in hand 4s were starting to string multiple phases together and make meters, unfortunately a lack of field position made it hard for Gordon to get any results in attack. Final score 39-0 to Eastwood.



Tom Lawton (22)
Colts Report - Round 1 vs. Eastwood
By David Smerdon - Colts 1st Fly Half

A real achievement from the Gordon Colts this weekend, with all 3 grades getting over the line with a win against Eastwood at TG Milner, while remaining undefeated across the park.

Credit must go to the coaching staff for working tirelessly to get the Gordon 4th Colts a game each week for the rest of the season – joining the U’18 competition – playing at the same ground as the rest of the boys each week.

Gordon 3rd Colts:

Gordon 3rd Colts ran rampant on the weekend, scoring a total number of tries nearly exceeding the number of fingers on 2 hands. Further credit goes to the team for not just showing a superb attacking performance, but also a solid defensive performance, keeping the Eastwood boys to nil for the entire game. Final score was 52-0, with standout performances from dynamic and fast Marcus Hundt (centre), leading point scoring sensation Dave Balcomb (fullback) and directive Ben Tracey (fly half). Brandon Fernandes (prop) also had a great game – picking up some substantial running metres, while crossing the line for a try and being a brick wall in defence.

Gordon 2nd Colts:

After settling for a draw last week, the Gordon 2nds Colts were out for a win, and with a few minutes to go it looked as though another draw may be ahead of them, however thanks to Marcus Hundt (res utility back) the boys took the lead and held on to win 29-20 in a tough match. Big man and coach Steve Phipps was happy with his boys after the game, reiterating the fact that they stuck to their structure and patterns well in the second half, and really kicked it up a gear when looking tired with 10 minutes to go. The forwards laid a solid platform up front allowing the backs to shine, with Kirt Anthony (outside back) darting over for a try and Marcus Hundt injecting himself well, crossing the try line more than once. Rob Lacinski (prop) also did well to get his first meat pie, with an individual display of brilliance, fending and side stepping defenders left, right and centre, all from 5 metres out. Well done boys!

Gordon 1st Colts:

This weekend’s game against Eastwood saw the return of Jack Bowditch into the front row, and a shift in the backline saw Samuel Tabuatamata get his run on at inside centre. However, all eyes were on Sean Dillon (prop), as he came out onto the field to face his old teammates and boy were they out to get him. After a fiery exchange of big hits from either team, it was the Gordon boys who crossed the white line first, with a clever offload down the far side, a small line-break from James Lough (number 8/captain) and quick ball recycling through the backs, saw the play ending with Benny Butler (wing) dive in the corner for a 5 pointer. James Dainton (fly half) slotted the conversion form the sideline to give the boys an early 7-0 lead. However, together with gut instinct and poor defensive position, Eastwood hit back off a midfield scrum inside Gordon’s 22 and levelled the scoring.

The second half saw more yellow cards than a soccer game, and fortunately they were all in favour of the Gordon boys, with a few Eastwood players being sent off for dangerous tackles and repeated infringements close to the line. Gordon took advantage of the fewer opposition players and vice captain Josh Mitchell (centre) screamed for an offload and off he went – 40m untouched and diving for a try. Further tries went to Jack Bowditch (prop) storming through defenders with a great display of strength and a second for Ben Butler saw the Gordon boys finish the game on top, 22-17. Mentions must go to reserve centre Sione Afu for lifting the boys and adding a great amount of aggression when coming off the bench (even getting involved in goal line ruck defence), and Nic Burkett (flanker) despite playing sick, displayed vigour and tenacity for the entire first half before coming off. The 1st Colts took away with them a lot of positives from the game, and as for the negatives, they’ll be turned into positives by next weeks game.

Next weekend’s games see the Gordon Colts take on Sydney University; a real test but a great opportunity for the boys to display their talent against a highly regarded team. Up the Stags!

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