Eastwood Preview Round 2
By Paul Treanor
An excellent start to the season last Saturday resulting in six wins from seven games at a crowded Millner with both the main oval and No2 playing host to Northern Suburbs. With all teams experiencing new personnel due to retirements, returns from injury, players moving on, new players to the club and promotions through the grades it will take a little time to get all the combinations working as you would expect. Despite these changes all teams showed positive signs of another successful season ahead.
This week we see more grounds being available to Rugby and a return to the home and away split for Grade and Colts. Our opposition this week is close neighbour Gordon who have fallen on hard times in recent years and again cannot field a third Colts side. Grade are playing at Chatswood Oval while Colts get to play on the main oval at Millner.
Gordon have a new head coach, experienced Geoff Townsend, who has the task of developing a young inexperienced side that can threaten the stronger clubs in the not too distant future. They are aiming to improve their position on the Club Championship Ladder and expect their lower grades to be competitive this season. How far they are along this path with be tested to the full against the Eastwood club who are strong performers in all Grades.
Gordon didn’t play last Saturday against Parramatta and will play the game this Sunday. Playing a game on Saturday and Sunday will test their fitness this early in the season. Gordon are looking to a better year from their lower grades so this should be an entertaining game against the strong Eastwood outfit.
Eastwood 4th Grade got things under way last Saturday in their usual way. The solid win 38 – 10 over Norths scoring six tries in the process. A team with a lot of new faces from last year’s Grand Finalist and will look to improve on this result as the season unfolds.
It will be a strong test for Gordon to match the performance of Eastwood.
As with 4th Grade Gordon Thirds did not play last Saturday so there is no indication how competitive they will be this year.
Eastwood 3rd Grade got the defence of their 2013 Premiership off to a resounding start scoring 8 tries in their defeat of Norths 52 – 15. It was a game they dominated from the kick off and again showing signs of the great rugby we know they are capable of while blending in new players and combinations. As the season progresses we should see the team only improve and again be one of the teams to beat.
The second grade clash will see two Round 1 winners take on each other. Gordon had a one point win over Parramatta while Eastwood were dominant in their 52 -19 win over Norths. They scored 7 tries in the process including one to Tom Alexander in his first match back after missing last season due to injury.
Both teams will want to make it two from two and stay at the head of the table so a good intense game should be entertaining for all who come to Chatswood Oval to watch.
1st Grade – Match of the Day ABC TV
Parramatta had a four tries to one win over Gordon with the final score 31 – 16 last Saturday at Merrylands. Although some thought Gordon might come away with the points experience won the day.
Meanwhile Eastwood found the going tough against Norths after an uncharacteristic slow start to the game. It wasn’t until mid way through the second half, with Norths down to 14 men, they finally kicked into gear. They scored two converted tries during that critical 10 minutes and went on with it to win the game 34 – 23. With only three tries for the 80 minutes of football Eastwood finds itself in 6th place despite the win. Just shows the importance of getting as many four try bonus points you can throughout the season. It will influence the standings going into the finals.
Blake Sutton was amongst the try scorers. He and Kyle Shewan put in a strong performance at the top level and both retain their places in the starting team for this weekend. Blake will be joined by Brad Curtis in the Centres replacing Cam Mitchell who is the only change to last week’s run on side.
Gordon remains unchanged taking the same team into the game that was beaten by Parramatta. Gordon’s young pack includes Australian Under 20 Jack Demsey at No 7 and it will be worth the price of admittance to see how they perform against the strong experienced Eastwood forwards.
Eastwood would appear to be too strong for the young Gordon team but you can’t afford to take any game too easy. They will need to put in a top performance and look to that four try bonus point. Gordon always looks to lift against Eastwood and Saturday will be no exception especially playing their first game at home this season.
3rd Grade Colts
2nd Grade Colts
Eastwood 2nd Grade Colts where beaten by Norths in a low scoring game 5 – 19. They will be looking to get their season under way this weekend against Gordon.
Gordon also lost last weekend going down 19 – 24 to Parramatta. The game should be a good clash with both teams not wanting to loose their first two games of the season.
1st Grade Colts
Eastwood had a close 32 – 29 win over Norths while Parramatta inflicted a big win 51 – 22 over Gordon. Eastwood scored 6 tries to Norths 5 with both sides struggling to kick goals.
Gordon conceded 8 tries in their loss and could only score 4 of their own. The accurate kicking by Parramatta extending the result even further.
On these numbers Eastwood will go into the game as favourites but will not have things all their own way. Hopefully the playing on the main ground at Millner will aide and assist our kickers.