Eastwood Preview Round 2
By Paul Treanor
Grade kicked off the season in grand style winning all four games against the hapless Randwick club. As expected the big four all had victories with University having the best of it against Penrith. The good news was Penrith and Gordon both had a full compliment of sides alas Warringah had to forfeit Colts 3. Lets hope they can get a side together for the rest of the year.
The first surprise of the year came when Norths shocked all the experts by having an away win over West Harbour. Will Norths be the surprise team of 2015? We will have a better idea this Saturday when they travel to Pittwater to take on Warringah.
Unfortunately it was all Randwick over at South Coogee and our three Colts sides had a long reflective drive back from the Eastern Suburbs contemplating the afternoon. Randwick are tipped to challenge University for the Colts Club Championship this year and certainly made a statement last Saturday. After some extra effort at training this week we can expect to see our young Colts ready to regroup as they act as hosts to Gordon for their first home game of the season this Saturday. Which means Grade travel to Chatswood Oval for they second round clash with the Highlanders in what should be a great day of Rugby.
As we have come come to expect Fourths got us off on the right foot and were the first Eastwood team to record a win in the 2015 season. They scored four tries in the first half and had our kicker’s radar been on target the score would have been even higher than the 22 – 10 final result.
The team announced for this week clash with Gordon has a few changes. Sam Martin retains his position at 8, Dan Matthews takes over at 10 and Nick Tregoning is the new Full Back. Ben Hopkins come back to the team after being called up to Thirds last week.
This week’s opponents were not as successful in their first hit out and in fact went down 0 – 32 against Eastern Suburbs. At this early stage in the season form is hard to judge but it would appear Eastwood will be too strong for Gordon in the first game of the day.
The opening stanza of Third Grade was all Randwick but when Eastwood finally go ball in hand they took control of the game and finally ran out winners 41 – 10. With a number of new faces in the side it was a good start to the season and Eastwood should once again be tough to beat.
This week’s team is much the same as last week’s. Ben Abood who came in late to replace the injured Dave Sutton remains in the 10. Josh Nohra drops back with the return of Sione Kupu to Seconds, while last year’s Colts 1 hooker Jimmy Holden retains his place in the side.
This week we come up against a Gordon side that was beaten 17 – 35 by Easts and if Eastwood play like they did last Saturday we should see another victory go our way.
Second Grade had the toughest game of the day running out winners 20 – 17 and just failing to get that vital fourth try. Eastwood dominated most of the game and it was goal kicking and a late try that kept Randwick in the hunt. Eastwood again had a number of new players to meld into the side and will be better for the run. The side will be a force to reckon with as combinations gel and players get used to each other. As with last year the side had a late change having to provide a hooker for first grade. New man to the club Myles Hunkin came up from Thirds to replace Tannous Ferris. Myles cap off a strong performance by running on as a late replacement in Firsts. With Tannous Ferris again required in First Grade Myles retains the hooking spot this weekend. The only change to last week’s run on side is the return on the Wing of Sione Kupu who was a late withdrawal.
Again Gordon were unsuccessful against Eastern Suburbs going down 19 – 34 and will find the going tough against the Eastwood outfit.
There was a lot of talk about Randwick having a team to make it this year they ran into the reigning premiers in round 1. It was a bit like watching a drowning man struggling against the relentless ocean as wave after wave of defence and attack hit the hapless Randwick players. In the end some of the Randwick players lost their composure while Eastwood continued to run in the points. In the end the score line showed the dominance with Eastwood running out winners 53 – 13.
Before we could get our first team of the year on the park we lost Hugh Roach to the Waratahs which meant Tennous Ferris got his first chance to run on with First Grade since Round 8 last year against Easts. Hugh is again on the Waratahs bench and Tennous retains his spot in Firsts. The rest of the team remains unchanged. The team will be looking forward to reacquainting themselves with Gordon’s new prop Lefu Ioapo.
Gordon got their season off to a positive start winning away from home, 19 – 10 against the heavily recruited Eastern Suburbs side who had a few fringe Waratahs in their side. The game was not the most entertaining but Gordon did show they have improved their defence this year and will be harder to beat than the side that went down 70 – 12 to Eastwood in round 2 last year.
Gordon finished on a high last year holding Grand Finalist Southern Districts to a 32 all draw in the last round. They will want to impress in front of their home crowd this Saturday and come away with a win over the premiers. Eastwood will be a tougher assignment than Easts and with an unchanged line up will be looking to go two from two.
Colts had a hard day at the office last Saturday coming up against three very strong Colts sides from Randwick. This week they take on Gordon at home and will be looking to get their first win on the board.
Randwick took the first game of the day 24 – 10 scoring a four try point point in the process. Gordon took the points 27 – 15 against Easts but didn’t get their bonus point. Without seeing the details they must have had a very reliable kicker on the day and Eastwood will need to be disciplined if they are to minimise Gordon’s scoring opportunities.
On paper Gordon would appear to be a tough opponent for the Eastwood side who will be looking to upset the Highlanders and give them their first win of the season.
While Eastwood went down 10 – 22 to Randwick Gordon had a 17 all draw with Easts last Saturday. We can expect a close contest from these two sides.
Eastwood had a tough introduction to Colts 1 against a Randwick side looking to go back to back Colt champions. The final result was a 63 – 10 win to the boys in Green. Eastwood will be looking to make amends when they take on Gordon who won 29 – 19 last Saturday against Eastern Suburbs. The final game of the day at Millner should be an absorbing affair.
We wish all three sides the best of luck.