2nd Grade Punish Eastwood in the Grand Final
On Saturday 24th September at Concord Oval Southern Districts Rugby Club wrote themselves into the history books with a convincing three tries to one win, 24-16 over minor premiers, Eastwood, to secure their first major rugby premiership and take possession of Sydney Rugby Union’s Colin Caird Shield for Reserve Grade.
Eastwood raced to an early 9 nil lead, the result of 3 penalties against Souths for undisciplined play, before the Rebels fought back with two unanswered tries, to be ahead 14-9 at the break. Despite behind early in the score line, Souths totally dominated the match at the scrum, the breakdown and through their enterprising backline, which featured three 2011 Australian U20 representatives, Rohan Saifolio, Apo Latinupulu, and Ben Volovola, the latter two being Sylvania Juniors.
With 15 minutes remaining in the match Souths’ lead had been reduced to 17-16, having being denied tries on three occasions, where the referee adjudicated that the ball was held up over the line. The final result however, could not have been more perfectly scripted, when replacement winger and 18 year old Colt, Alex Gibbons, capitalised on an overlap to race 50m and score in the dying seconds, to secure a much deserved victory.
This 2nd Grade Souths team was superbly captained by halfback and former Sylvania junior Dewet Roos, with former Oatley junior, Luke Smart, as always securing clean line out ball and leading the forward pack from the front.
The encouraging feature of this side is that it included no less than nine local juniors from village clubs Oatley, Sylvania, and Burraneer and five players under twenty years of age. In fact the average age of the top 70 playing group at Southern Districts in 2011 was 21.7 years which reflects well on the future of the club.
Despite the recent rumour mill trying to suggest otherwise, and to coin the current catchcry of the Wallabies, Southern Districts Rugby Club are more than ever “one team” of united players, members, sponsors, supporters, and management, and their future is destined for further major success in the years to come, built on the foundation of what is an extremely talented and youthful playing group.