It was great to see Shute Shield or Club Rugby being back on free-to-air TV for another year starting with the last four rounds of the regular season today followed by another four weeks of Playoffs where we look back between Eastern Suburbs v Randwick at Woollahra Oval.
It was a close first 20-30 minutes contest where both teams were up and running with a few opening tries on the board, but Randwick pulled it off well from a narrow lead comfortably towards the break 10-26. Now Easts have made up lost time whenever possible to close them in off the back of the Wicks’ ill-discipline when Nick Chan had to sit in the naughty chair for 10 mins, but then that short revival was shut down once Chan was allowed to get back on the field. Wicks fired back on the counter with more extended points while stopping the Easts’ attack defensively with their poor conversion play as the clock runs out into full-time with the win 22-36.
First of all, Andrew Deegan was outstanding at No.10 in the way he designs the Wicks counter attack as well as his excellent kicking game. Gotta love his quick offloads as long he can see his own numbers before the job can be done past the gaps, which is a really good response to stay way ahead of Easts.
Then Ben Houston was outstanding in the Wicks No.8 shirt after his two-TRY haul during the first 40 including the second brace that puts his side further in front ahead of HT. Not only he can be such a handy defender every time Easts are in trouble to process past his own lane, but he can smash through the opposition blocks as well as finish it off with pace.
Both of them will now look to gift his side a minor Premiership trophy ahead of the upcoming Finals as the Wicks are now topping the ladder with three weeks left.
And Mosese Tuipulotu did well to keep them in check on the Easts outside midfield, who was so aware of a few Wicks errors that gave his side to strike back, and he too take advantage with two tries. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his day even though his side had plenty of ball chances off the back of their poor execution that gave Wicks the upper hand with the loss.
Next one up for Round 16 of 18 on the 22nd next Saturday is NHRU Wildfires v Gordon in Newcastle at 3pm on 9Gem & Stan Sport.