Eastwood Preview Round 13
By Paul Treanor
After a week of constant rain, grounds were saturated across Sydney last Saturday and not all games were able to be played. Those who did needed to dust off their wet weather game plan and those who followed the coaches plan were able to come away with the points. In Eastwood’s case we had two wins and two losses on Saturday and three wins in the games played last night.
This weekend we are promised the return of the sunshine and a return to dry weather rugby can be expected, although it will be a little soft underfoot. Grade hosts Manly at home in what is a split round due to the Lions Test on Saturday night. Meanwhile our Colts will play Round 18 where they are scheduled to take on Warringah at Rat Park and take on Manly the following weekend when Grade have the weekend off.
4th Grade – 3rd place
Fourth Grade did get onto the paddock on Saturday and unfortunately went down by five points to second placed Randwick. It was only their second loss of the season and their first since Round 2. They take on Manly this week who have lost six from twelve and were beaten 8-15 by Eastwood in Round 4. Manly were the only other 4th Grade game played last Saturday and they beat Parramatta 36 – 7. Their form has been patchy and Eastwood should bounce back from their loss and remain undefeated at home this year.
3rd Grade – 2nd place
Eastwood Thirds also lost to Randwick last Saturday with a score line of 10-17 breaking their nine game winning streak. The team will need to take on board the loss and move on. This week it doesn’t get any easier when they take on the team coming fourth and who are coming off a big 62-0 win over Parramatta last week. Eastwood beat Manly 22- 17 in Round 4 and on recent form both teams should put up a good fight. Eastwood haven’t lost at home this year and will want to keep this record in tact.
2nd Grade – Equal 1st place
Second Grade played Randwick last night and ran out winners 37- 19 making them equal with Randwick at the top of the table. This reverses their loss in Round 3 and continues their excellent winning run of eight games. It will be interesting to see how they back up on Saturday after a short three day turn around, but they will need to be on their game as they host the only other team who has beaten them this season, Manly, who are just two points behind them on the ladder. Both teams seem to be evenly matched and it should be another closely fought contest. Manly were easy winners last Saturday over Parramatta 59-5 and should come to the ground full of confidence. Eastwood will have other ideas and have greatly improved since their Round 4 loss. They will be looking to inflict Manly’s third loss for the season and retain their position on the ladder.
1st Grade -1st place
If your only knowledge of last week’s game against Randwick was the article in Rugby Heaven you would be forgiven for thinking Drew Mitchell was the only player worth a mention. Those who saw the game would tell you otherwise as they witnessed a near faultless execution of a wet weather game plan by the whole Eastwood team. Eastwood were relentless in sticking to the plan and by the time 60 minutes had been used up on the soggy ground clock they had secured their four try bonus point and Randwick was yet to score a point. On the back of a constant flow of penalties and the possession that affords, the last 20 minutes gave Eastwood plenty of goal line defence practice and it was a credit to their commitment to play the whole 80 minutes that Randwick only managed to score a converted try.
By all reports Manly also had a wet weather game plan that worked and saw them run away victors over Parramatta 33-14. What game plans will the coaches turn up with this week? We will have to wait until 3pm Saturday to find out. Certainly the game of the day.
As mentioned above Colts play Round 18 this week and revert back to Round 13 next week. Having just played Warringah back on the 1st June both teams should know what to expect. Firsts were the only team to actually play last Saturday, while Seconds and Thirds played their games last night with both winning and making it a clean sweep for our Colts against Randwick.
Thirds won 26 – 5 last night and will face a side they beat 19-10 when last they met on Saturday. On current form Eastwood should account for Warringah again provided the three day turnaround can be overcome. Warringah have only won three games while Eastwood are sitting in equal third and appear to be too strong for their opposition this weekend.
Seconds also had a win last night beating Randwick 38- 0. The win sees Eastwood jumping to the top of the table three points ahead of University who have a game in hand and play their catch up game next Wednesday. Eastwood have only had one loss this year and come up against second last placed Warringah who have only won one game. Last time the two teams met, Eastwood ran out winners 71- 0. It would require a big upset for Eastwood to miss the points in this game.
Firsts pulled off the win of the Round when they accounted for third placed Randwick 29- 21. This avenged their loss in Round 4 when Randwick ran out victors 32- 26. This week they play a team who have won six out of eleven games but have a negative 143 points differential. They beat Eastwood in their previous encounter so another strong performance from the boys will see this result reversed and help them cement their place on the ladder.