Eastwood Preview Round 18
By Paul Treanor
This is the last week of Grade before the finals kick off and all teams sit in the top four of their respective competitions. Where they finish and who they play in the semi-finals will depend on results from the last round.
This week we host Warringah at home. Eastwood supporters have come out in numbers for both home and away games all season so let’s make this a bumper crowd to end the regular season on a high note.
Meanwhile, Colts finals get under way at Forshaw Park over the weekend. All three teams are playing. We congratulate them on their successful season to date and look forward to their progress through the finals.
Grade 4th Grade – 3rd place
Another win last Saturday against Easts was a good hit out for the team after a few high scoring games over recent rounds. This week they are up against the 10th placed Warringah who are out of contention for a finals spot. Warringah have won their last two games so they can’t be taken lightly as they will want to end their season with a win.
Last time they played Eastwood won 39 – 0 and Eastwood should again take the points this weekend although we can expect a determined opposition wanting to cause an upset.
3rd Grade – 2nd place – equal with Randwick
Third Grade had a rare loss last weekend when Easts surprised them 3 – 20. It was only their third loss of the year and they will be looking to make amends when they run out against Warringah on Saturday afternoon. The loss comes as a timely reminder to what is needed to maintain the momentum going into the finals over the next few weeks.
Warringah had only their third win of the season against Parramatta last Saturday and will be wanting to redeem some pride by going out with a win. Last time the two teams clashed Eastwood won 64 – 0 and they should be too strong again this Saturday.
2nd Grade – 4th place
Eastwood gave a warning to the other finalist last Saturday when they accounted for East’s 51- 3. Eastwood will be looking for another win when they play 8th placed Warringah. The result of the game between Randwick and University will also determine where the teams finish and who Eastwood will play next week.
Warringah win over Parramatta last Saturday lifted them into the eight and they will want to win to ensure they make the finals. A loss and a win by Parramatta over Penrith would see Parramatta regain 8th spot so they will be playing for their season and will not want to leave any unanswered questions when the final whistle sounds.
With so much to play for, both teams will be looking to dominate from the kick off and so we can expect an intriguing game of rugby at Millner with kick off around 1.30 pm. A game not to be missed.
1st Grade -1st place
First Grade got the hit out they were wanting when the came up against a strong Easts side at Woollahra Oval. They still maintain a three point advantage over University and a win on Saturday will see them crowned Minor Premiers.
Warringah are just in the eight only one point ahead of Northern Suburbs and like their 2nd Grade side have their season on the line. Northern Suburbs play West Harbour and should also be expected to pull out all stops for a victory. Warringah will be wanting to beat Eastwood and take control of their own destiny and not rely on West Harbour beating Norths.
Last time the teams met Eastwood won 33 – 22 showing Warringah are no push over. With both Eastwood and Warringah having so much at stake the game should be one to watch. Eastwood have lead this competition for most of the season and it will be fitting for them to take the Minor Premiership Crown at home in front of their blue and white eyed supporters. Come on down and be part of it.
Colts Thirds – finished in 3rd place
Colts Thirds finished third after their hard fought win over Easts last Saturday lifted them one place on the ladder. This sees them playing at 9am on Saturday against second placed Northern Suburbs. They have only played once this year when Eastwood came away with a 36 – 13 win. Northern Suburbs have only suffered three losses this season and results show they can score tries as well as defend.
Eastwood have only had one loss since May and have shown they can beat the leading teams in the competition. The game would seem to be evenly poised and the winner will get next week off while the loser will get a second chance in round 2 of the finals.
Seconds – finished in 2nd place
Seconds finished off an outstanding season with only one loss which was way back in the second round against University who finished the year undefeated. This week they play their semi-final on Saturday after Colts Thirds at 10.15am, also against Northern Suburbs who finished third.
Northern Suburbs had a one point win over Manly last week and have only lost four games during the year. Two of those were against University and one against Eastwood who beat them 36 – 12 in their only match up this year. As you would expect, from semi-finals, the game should be close but on form Eastwood should prove too strong for their Northern Suburbs opponents.
Firsts – finished in 5h place
Colts Firsts made it three from three last weekend with a strong finishing win over Easts. Their winning form has come at the right end of the season. They are in a sudden death semi-final next Sunday at 3pm when they play 8th placed Warringah. A loss here will be the end of the season so they will be be looking to bring last weeks form to Forshaw Park.
Colts firsts have played Warringah twice this year and have lost both games. The first 29 – 34 and the second 12 – 41. There is not much separately these two teams. Eastwood have won nine games while Warringah have won eight as well as a draw. The game is evenly balanced on past results and should prove to be an arm struggle with the winner the one who stays focused for the full 80 minutes.