Rugby News, Randwick hold back Northern Suburbs through the end to win the 2023 Shute Shield Grand Final for the first time in a long time 15-17 at Leichhardt Oval

by Sports Benches

It’s been such a great nail biting storyline earlier this afternoon to wrap up this year’s Shute Shield season for the 100th edition at Leichhardt Oval between Northern Suburbs v Randwick. Randwick got ahead first with three tries on the board while Norths only bagged just the one penalty goal thanks to a brilliant defense on the Wicks danger zone ahead of half-time 3-17. Although the Wicks might not have added anything in the 2nd 40 while Norths made up some lost time, but their robust defense is what made this team so great after the Norths late failed penalty kick. The wicks are now champions for the first time in 20 years since 2004 as the final score was 15-17.

Now that Club Rugby is done, bring on the Wallabies warm-up game v France in Paris at 1.45 AEST on Monday AM. Then bring on the big show starting on the early hours of Sunday September 10 with their Rugby World Cup leg to start v Georgia.

The mastermind behind Randwick’s winning grand final display today is none other than the experienced Andrew Deegan at No.10. He’s more than just a conversion kicker thanks to his quick passing & leadership that made the Wicks counter-attack so effective, having got around the Norths gate with pace to burn before the tries were there while Andrew never puts a foot wrong when adding the extras. Switching from an excellent attack to defense, there is another Wicks player named Simon Poidevin who made a huge difference in rebuffing the Norths attack off the bench. He too has tremendous physicality where Norths struggled to execute with the ball while being isolated & Christian was there to lock them up, which was a huge sigh of relief time & time again through the end that went the Wicks way via the referee’s call. Both players have been a huge part on helping head coach Stephen Hoiles lift his first Premiership in his first season here after spending the last two years over in the US.

And Henry O’Donnell never stopped working on what has been a tough afternoon for Norths in the outside centre position at No.13. He chases the ball really well as being tested that saw the best of his attacking & defensive contribution, but lacks support to get the job done under pressure against a tight Wicks defense sadly through full-time. He’s had a big year where he helped Norths advance into the last two following another minor premiership, while playing for the Australian U20 side with more to come from the 20-year old going into 2024.

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