It’s been a close first half between Randwick and Eastwood here at Coogee Oval. Randwick got the first TRY after Eastwood opened the scoreboard with the three-point penalty goal before Eastwood lead at half-time, 5-10, courtesy of a number of successful shoves that lead to a incredible TRY from Fabian Goodall on the inside centre at No.12. In the end though, it was Randwick who secured an easy win after a series of successive big scores in the 2nd half, 31-17.
It’s good to see Randwick respond to Eastwood’s opening three-point penalty goal with a complete line-up masterclass from Matt Faesseler at hooker. Although they’re not bad defensively when they won a few penalties/turnovers, but needs to be a bit more patient going forward where a few forward passes slowed down their progress. Fortunately, they addressed that problem after half-time where a series of tries from Randwick changed everything on the up with an easy win going towards full-time. Credit to Nick Chan for proving the finishing touches twice to Dan O’Brien & James Hendren, while Faesseler scored another TRY before James Tomkinson topped the cherry on the cake when he touched down on the TRY zone.
Meanwhile, Eastwood benefitted from Randwick’s early discipline & forward passing errors that helped them get the ball rolling. They dominated the ball going forward for the majority thanks to Fabian Goodall, but needs to be wary when trying to prevent Randwick from scoring at their own end. Yes, they may have scored the consolation TRY from their own Number 8 in Michael Icely alongside a few fresh faces off the bench; Sadly, Eastwood just couldn’t stay ahead when their first-half lead was slammed downhill into the ground. A messy attacking shape through open play didn’t match the standard Randwick fought back in the 2nd half before it’s too late, when their defensive contribution became a whole lot difficult to shut the opposition down.
17 weeks done, one to go in the 2022 Shute Shield regular season before four weeks of finals time. Randwick was 6th & Eastwood was 4th on the ladder prior to this match; Eastwood lost two spots now to 6th behind Randwick as Warringah moves to fourth after a win once again v Southern Districts.
Coincidentally, the Southern Districts will be on the road once again when they will face Randwick, while Eastwood will have an easy chance to close their 2022 regular campaign with a win v the Western Sydney Two Blues in Granville. And 9Gem will continue to show Shute Shield on free-to-air when the Northern Suburbs v Eastern Suburbs at North Sydney Oval next Saturday, 3pm.