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Favourite sons return to cut down the Woods

Southern Districts’ returning representative stars Jed Holloway, DeWet Roos and Alex Gibbon all scored tries in an ultra-impressive 43-18 win over fancied Eastwood at Forshaw Park on Saturday. Veteran winger Luke Smart, fullback Jamie Verran and hard running inside centre Apolosi Latunipulu were the other try scorers. Coach Matt Barr would have been mightily impressed with the completeness of performance across the full 80 minutes. 

Particular credit must be given to the hard working forward pack lead by hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa who delivered the platform at the ruck contest and also controlled the set piece throughout. Souths remain in sixth place and well and truly in finals contention, five points clear of seventh placed Sydney University. Second grade managed a gutsy 24-24 all draw, which has enabled them to consolidate equal top spot on the ladder.

Souths are on the road this weekend to Parramatta this Saturday before returning for Forshaw on 8th July for a huge encounter against defending premiers Northern Suburbs. The appetising first grade clash pitted second placed Eastwood against the home side which has to date only idled up to sixth place. It was Souths who dominated the early proceedings and were rewarded with a converted try to Gibbons in the 7th minute. Eastwood and Southern Districts then exchanged penalty goals as the first half evened with possession and territory, and it only remained 10-3 approaching the half hour mark.

Souths finally were able to reassert some dominance, with Holloway breaking through from 10 metres out to extend the lead to 17-3. Luke Smart then capped a superb first half of football with a try under the posts in the 36th minute. Smart received a sensational popped pass from Paenga-Amosa, which drew rapturous applause from the large gathering on the recently inaugurated and aptly named “Favourite Son Hill”.

After their best defensive half of the year, Eastwood hit back right on the stroke of half time with a try to their whippy half back Matt Gonzalez. 24-8 at the break. Souths effectively ended the contest with fast flowing running rugby to open the first 10 minutes of the second half. Tries to Roos (45th minute) and Latunipulu (49th min) put the match beyond Eastwood’s reach.

An exquisite cross field kick by fly-half Rohan Saifoloi was marked by Verran out wide for the final Souths try of the day in the 70th minute. Eastwood managed two very late consolation tries which flattered them on the scoreboard as the match closed 43-18.

Souths sadly farewell versatile outside back Paul Asquith who has been signed by Welsh club Scarletts, the defending Pro12 champions of Europe.

Brendan MacNamara
#FSH Official Writer

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