Preview 7-8 September 2013
By Paul Treanor
This weekend we have our Colts 2 playing on Saturday in the Grand Final against the strong Sydney University side, while Sunday sees all four Grade sides play off for a place in next week’s Grand Final.
Colts Grand Final is being held at Forshaw Rugby Park and they would appreciate as much support as we can give them. If you have time after voting make the trip down South and hopefully cheer the boys onto victory.
Sunday is again a day for Eastwood Rugby with all four games being played at T G Millner Oval. Another day when we want as many supporters as we can get to come down dressed in blue and white. The coach has also requested we raise the roof in support of our teams. Get there early as all games will be closely contested and all teams have an excellent chance of making the Grand Final of their respective competitions.
Colts 2 Grand Final
Vs Sydney University Saturday
at Forshaw Rugby Park Kick off 1pm
Eastwood comes to the Grand Final after two close encounters during the final series, both of which went down to the wire. Last week they had a nail biting 20 all draw with Manly that saw them advance to the Grand Final after finishing higher on the ladder at the end of the regular season. This followed their hard fought two point win in week one over Norths. With two hard tight games under their belts Eastwood’s preparation for their appointment with Minor Premiers University could not be better, and they will be rearing to go come Saturday afternoon.
University on the other hand had an easier day out last Saturday beating Eastern Suburbs 36 points to 29, while in week one they beat Manly 54 points to 30.
This will be the third year in a row these two Clubs have clashed to determine who are the Premiers for Colts 2. The last two years University have prevailed and Eastwood will be looking to make 2013 their year.
The two teams have been the stand outs this year and it is fitting they have made it through to the Grand Final. University took out the Minor Premiership suffering just the one draw for the whole season. They have scored 823 points while only conceding 150. That is just 9 points a game! They have however conceded more points in their last two games than any of their games in the regular season.
Meanwhile Eastwood had just the one loss – to University back in round 2. They scored 545 points while 199 were scored against them. An average of only 12 points a game.
Both teams have shown their ability to restrict their opponents scoring while having the fire power to score points at the other end of the field. It shapes up to be a clash you expect from a Grand Final between the two teams who have dominated the competition.
Grade Preliminary Final
Sunday Millner Oval
We are now one week away from Grade Grand Finals with the winners from this weekend’s games going through and the losers packing up until next year.
With the four University sides playing their preliminary finals at University Oval on Saturday and the four Eastwood grade sides playing at home on Sunday it is well on the cards we could see the two Clubs playing off in the premiership deciders in all grades next weekend at Concord Oval. But we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. The games still need to be won this Sunday and maximum support from the Eastwood crowd will give the teams added energy to take them through to the next week.
Fourth Grade Vs Eastern Suburbs Kick Off 10.15 am
Eastern Suburbs, who finished fifth in the competition, won the right to play Eastwood in the Fourth Grade Preliminary Final this Sunday with a surprise 18 points to 3 over Northern Suburbs last weekend. This followed their 24 points to 0 win over Southern Districts in the first week of the finals. They have now won their last five games and have found form at the right end of the season.
Eastwood had a tough game against Randwick in the first week of the final and the win took them straight to this week’s clash. Eastwood’s form has also been good and have beaten Eastern Suburbs twice this year. The first game they won 36 points to 14 and they again came out on top,19 points to 0, when they last met on 10th August.
Eastwood look the goods and should again kick off the day with a win and get the Eastwood machine rolling forward.
On Saturday Minor Premiers University play Randwick who finished third. Randwick have beaten them this year and will be aiming to do it again. This should be a close encounter but the Minor Premiers would be expected to win based on their form this season.
Third Grade Vs Manly Kick Off 11.40 am
Eastwood take on Manly who finished fourth. The teams drew the last time they met on this ground. Manly were beaten by University in the first week of the finals but came back last week with a win 25 points to 20 over West Harbour.
Eastwood have been one of the form teams of the competition and will be focused to continue on their fine attacking game backed up by a solid defence. The game will not be an easy one but Eastwood come into the game on a strong win over Randwick in the first week of the finals where they showed their running game and attacking power coupled with a strong defensive structure. They should prove too strong for Manly, however it will be a game to watch as Manly will not leave the ground wondering.
The other Preliminary Final is between Minor Premiers University and Eastern Suburbs who finished sixth. East’s have been playing sudden death the last two weeks and last weekend surprised Randwick with a 17 points to 10 win. They had a draw with University earlier in the year and will be looking to push their finals campaign one further week. On form University should come away winners but Eastern Suburbs will be looking to spring another surprise.
Second Grade Vs Manly Kick Off 1.15 pm
The Second Grade Competition has been one of the closest Competitions this year. All top four sides are very close in skill and ability and on any day are capable of beating their opponents and so it is not surprising they are the teams playing this weekend. This should be the closest game of the weekend.
Manly are Minor Premiers and lost to Randwick in week one of the finals. They had a one point win over Northern Suburbs last week to make this play off for the Grand Final so they are not producing the form that saw them take out the Minor Premiership. By contrast Eastwood had a monumental win over University in one of the best performances seen at Millner this year.
Last time the sides met Eastwood had played a tough game against Randwick just three days earlier and so when they came up against a fresh Manly they had trouble in keeping up the usual standard allowing Manly to run out comfortable winners. This time Eastwood have had a week off and Manly have had a tough game last week. It will be a different set of circumstances for both teams.
Eastwood showed against University what they are capable of and will be ready to deliver against the Minor Premiers. A game that will pit two strong sides together and will be well worth the trip to Millner.
The other Preliminary Final is Between University and Randwick. University came to Millner in week one of the finals with the expectation of rolling over the top of Eastwood but didn’t count on the Eastwood Spirit. They beat Gordon 42 points to 12 last weekend. Randwick week one win over Manly saw them get last weekend off and well rested to take on University. University have won both their encounters this year but Randwick only lost by nine points when they played a few weeks back. The expectation is a University win but Randwick is more than capable of beating them.
Both games will be interesting encounters to determine who will meet in the Second Grade Grand Final.
First Grade Vs Manly Kick Off 3.10 pm
As with Second Grade, the top four sides have made it through to the Preliminary Final in First Grade. Eastwood are up against third placed Manly who had a heart breaking loss after the final bell in week one against University. Last weekend they started slow and did not play the same intensity they showed against University. They came from behind late in the game and finished stronger over Eastern Suburbs to get the right to challenge Eastwood this weekend.
Eastwood had an impressive win over Southern Districts who finished strongly in their week one clash. Manly will also be a difficult assignment having shown earlier in the year they had the game plan to take it to Eastwood. The game at Millner earlier this year saw Manly almost take the game and some said Eastwood were lucky to get away with a draw. Eastwood have ramped up their performances since that meeting and Manly will be wary of the team who have taken all before them this season. The clash of the two forward packs will be a highlight of the game.
The other game is between University and Southern Districts. University got out of jail against Manly in week one kicking a field goal after the 80th minute. Southern Districts were out played by Eastwood in week one however showed what they were capable of toward the end of that game geeting to with in a converted try. They came through with a strong win last Saturday over Randwick running in 57 points while Randwick could only manage 25 and will have the added incentive of reversing last year’s Grand Final result. They are more than capable of beating University but will need to play for the full 80 minutes if they are to cause an upset.
So can Eastwood make it to the Grand Final in all four grades? They certainly have shown this is a distinct possibility but as we know anything can happen. It will be a great day for all Rugby fans as two of the best teams in each Grade battle it out for a place in the Grand Final. Be there and show your true colours and remember the Coach wants us to make a lot of noise.