Another Shute Shield showdown with Randwick

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Sydney University will be playing for a sixth consecutive Sydney grade rugby union premiership when they take on Randwick in the Shute Shield grand final at Concord Oval next Saturday.

The Students won through for a Shute Shield defence with a 36-20 win over Southern Districts in a preliminary final at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Sunday, while Randwick earned a grand final spot with a 23-21 win over minor premiers Eastwood at Woollahra Oval on Saturday.

Wallabies utility back Berrick Barnes guided the Students to victory over Southern Districts, providing the final pass for two of Sydney University’s three tries and landing three conversions and five penalty goals in a perfect day with the boot.

After trailing 10-3 midway through the first half, five-eighth Barnes sent outside-centre Mitch Inman and blindside flanker Ben McCalman over for tries to establish a 16-10 half-time lead.

Winger Lachie Mitchell extended the margin with a try early in the second half when hooker Nathan Charles found him with an inside pass. And with Barnes slotting goals at regular intervals the Students booked another grand final berth. He will be a key to the grand final outcome when the Students come up against Randwick for the third time in as many years in the season decider.

After a slow start to the season, when they were as low as ninth on the competition ladder, the Students have now won 12 on the trot. Should the winning run extend to 13, they will equal a long-held Randwick record of six successive premierships. The Wicks won six titles from 1987 to 1992. They’ll also move one title closer to the Wicks, who hold 27 premierships to Sydney University’s 25.

And Tim Davidson has the chance to captain six premiership-winning teams – a feat that could be on the record books for many, many years.


Shute Shield preliminary finals

First Grade: Sydney University 36 (Mitch Inman, Ben McCalman, Lachie Mitchell tries; Berrick Barnes 3 goals, 5 pen goals) d Southern Districts 20 (Brackin Karauria-Henry, Kane Douglas tries; Kurt Morath 2 goals, 2 pen goals) at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Randwick 23 d Eastwood 21. Sydney University to meet Randwick in grand final at Concord Oval from 3.10pm  on October 2.

Second Grade: Warringah 33 (Tristan Stanley, John Kennedy, Dave Feltscheer tries; Tristan Stanley 2 goals, 3 pen goals) d Sydney University 26 (Pen try, Dave McDuling 2, Paddy Ryan tries; Justin Bosilkovski 3 goals. Randwick 33 d Southern Districts 26. Warringah to meet Randwick for the Colin Caird Shield from 1pm.

Third Grade: Randwick 17 d Gordon 0. Eastern Suburbs 21 d Warringah 6. Randwick to meet Eastern Suburbs for the Henderson Shield from 11.25am.

Fourth Grade: Randwick 15 d Northern Suburbs 7. Eastern Suburbs 16 (M Willett, J Rasto tries; B Bolton pen goal, field goal) d Sydney University 13 (Hugo Dessens try; James Metcalfe goal, 2 pen goals). Randwick to meet Eastern Suburbs for Henderson Cup from 9.50am.

Colts – Grand Finals

First Grade: Sydney University 32 (Jack Freeman, Chris Jarvis, Joe Welch, Jack de Guigand, James Helliwell  tries; Jack Freeman 2 goals, pen goal)  d Eastwood 17 (Tom Ellam, Tannous Ferris tries; Blake Sutton 2 goals, pen goal) at Concord Oval.

Second Grade: Sydney University 31 (Ben Cannon, Oliver L’Estrange, Tolu Latu tries; Matt Armour 2 goals, pen goals; Byron Hodge 3 pen goals) d Gordon 3 (Will Shirvington pen goal).

Third Grade: West Harbour 35 (Veni Mafi, Nelson Dale, Brendan Newcombe, Usaia O’Sullivan tries; Samuel Muller 3 goals, 3 pen goals) d Sydney University 12 (Cale Holmes, Nick Charlwood tries; Nick Charlwood goal).