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By Tommy Evans
Four rounds done and dusted!
It’s been a busy first month of Shute Shield rugby, bringing each of our teams different highs and lows. Coming into this week against Sydney Uni, we were lucky enough to get our Waratahs representatives back and this helped lift the energy levels at training. Everyone was ready to whack the Students.
Unfortunately this weekend the Brotherhood found themselves in the eye of a perfect storm of injuries and unavailable players. Only one forward from the week before was available (the ever-reliable Ciaran Macwhite). This really tested coach Charlie Evans’ mobile data limit as he spent hours calling and messaging people on Facebook. Somehow a team was just scraped together which included only two reserves- one of those being Charlie himself. Chuck was visibly nervous as he hadn’t played in over four years and had recently developed a curious case of gout.
Despite the circumstances, our boys never backed down and put in a gutsy performance. There were backs playing in the forwards and Uni probably had about 10kg on each of our players. Despite this, the guys kept getting up off the line to belt anyone in blue and yellow. A couple of runaway tries at the end of the first half put Uni in the driver’s seat, however, the second half was only 12-5 in their favour.
Once our team is back to full strength I think everyone knows it’ll be a much different story when we play them in the finals.
Norths 10 (Tries: #2 Josh Clifton, #13 Joe Williams), Sydney Uni 34.
This game was played nearly entirely in heavy rain, but this didn’t stop our guys from moving the ball around the field with great execution. Connor Winchester and Josh Smith turned Uni around time and time again with some brilliant long-range kicks. Despite only being down 10-0 at halftime in an even contest, Uni stormed home in the last twenty minutes.
I don’t think anyone will forget what club stalwart Josh Clifton said to his opposing hooker during the opening scrum. He’d already played the first half in fourth grade to help their cause, and when he came on in threes he was very fired up. You’ll have to ask him when you see him around the grounds.
Norths 0, Sydney Uni 31
As with first grade, both teams came into this match undefeated. Despite the earlier results in the day, all supporters were very excited and optimistic that our fortunes would be turned around here.
It was a highly physical and fast-paced match, with both teams desperate to maintain their winning streaks. Unfortunately, it was not to be for our guys, and this was made all the more difficult to take with Leon Akopian and Jack Clancy being cruelled by injuries.
Both were in great form so it was devastating to see them both head to hospital. We wish you all the best fellas, they’re just speed bumps in your rugby careers and we can’t wait to see you get back out on the field.
Norths 7 (Tries: #14 Angelo Leaupepe; Goals: #10 Jack Clancy), Sydney Uni 28.
As proud as we are seeing our guys in sky blue, we’ll always be very happy to see them back playing for us- especially that Will Miller bloke.
Being a top of the table clash, tensions were high and everyone watching knew we were in for an exciting contest.
The boys got out of the blocks quickly and looked like we were going to absolutely roll them. Credit to Uni though, as they managed to get themselves in the match courtesy of a couple of tries to sneak ahead late in the second half.
However, as Ezra Luxton famously said after the 2016 grand final, “we don’t lose, brah!” Sure enough, we sailed home to victory courtesy of a Trappa try out wide. The John Thornett cup is back where it belongs!
Norths 32 (Tries: #2 JP Sauni, #1 Ezra Luxton, #12 Irae Simone, #15 Sam Giltrap; Goals: #10 Angus Sinclair 5), Sydney Uni 26
What. A. Result. Our First Grade Colts pulled off a hell of a win, sending the Students away from Bon Andrews Oval with their first loss since 2015.
They even did it with some of their regular starters out with injury, getting up 38-29. It’s a huge performance and the club couldn’t be prouder.
I’ve been told that everyone on the field put in a huge shift, but Alex Crotti, Charlie Jeavons Fellows and Hugh Green were enormous.
3s put in a courageous performance but were overcome 36-14, while 2s lost a close one that went down to the wire, 27-17. All colties enjoyed some well-earned cold ones that evening, as the senior players arranged a fun night out to further galvanise the group.
The girls had a tough day out at Coogee oval, playing in a tournament that saw them up against some of the strongest teams in Sydney.
Unfortunately, they lost to Sydney Uni and Gordon, before wiping the floor with Hunters Hill.
They scraped into the finals, however, were humbled by a revved up Eastern Suburbs outfit.
Caitlin Le Bas and Alex Chung have been very reliable speedsters, and they continued their run of strong form throughout the day.
TEAM OF THE WEEK:
1st grade colts. Hell of a win, fellas.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Junior Pale, 1st grade colts. Man of the match performance from the flyhalf in their big win.
After a tough opening month’s draw, we now look ahead to West Harbour this week. Let’s aim for 7 wins from 7 games against the Pirates.