All hands on deck for premierships

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Sydney University Football Club is once again in contention to win all seven titles in the Sydney Grade competition after finishing third in Shute Shield and minor premiers in Second, Third and Fourth grades and the three Colts grades. Sydney University’s women’s team have also won the minor premiership in their march towards back-to-back titles.

Eastwood once again took out the Shute Shield minor premiership, finishing on 66 points, ahead of Manly (61), Sydney University (58), Southern Districts (51), Parramatta (48), Northern Suburbs (44), Warringah (38), West Harbour (33), Eastern Suburbs (32), Randwick (28), Gordon (27) and Penrith (20).

The new finals format, played over four weeks, gives the four top-placed sides (Eastwood, Manly, Sydney University and Southern Districts) two chances to progress to the semi-finals.

This weekend’s qualifying finals will see first-placed Eastwood host fourth-placed Southern Districts and Manly (second) host Sydney University (third), with the two winners progressing automatically to the preliminary finals in week three.

At the same time, the fifth- to eighth-placed teams will battle it out, with sixth-placed Norths playing seventh-placed Warringah at Woollahra Oval on Saturday, and Parramatta hosting West Harbour (eighth overall) on Sunday. The losers’ campaigns will end there, while the winners will progress to round two where they will meet the losers from Eastwood v Souths and Manly v Sydney University in week two.

The Students finished the season proper in style with a 45-17 demolition of Southern Districts at University No.1 Oval on Saturday.

Skipper Tim Davidson scored two of Sydney University’s seven tries in his 100th First Grade game for the club.

Centre Mitch Inman also bagged a pair, with prop Jeremy Tilse, centre Tom Carter and fullback Angus Roberts scoring the others, while five-eighth Dan Kelly landed five conversions.

Two of Sydney University’s Colts teams began their finals campaigns in style at Forshaw Rugby Park on Saturday, with First Grade defeating Northern Suburbs 39-21 and Second Grade accounting for Northern Suburbs 35-17. Third Grade Colts will begin their finals campaign this Saturday.

First Grade Colts will be chasing a sixth successive win in the W. McMahon Memorial Shield. First Grade Colts have won nine of the past 10 grand finals, having gone of a run of four from 2002, lost to Eastwood in the 2006 decider and set up another unbroken run from 2007.

Second Grade Colts will be chasing a seventh consecutive premiership, while Third Grade Colts will be looking for back-to-back titles.

SUFC already has two trophies in the cabinet for 2012: the overall Club Championship Shield and the Eric Spilstead Shield for the Colts Club Championship. Sydney University has now won the Colts Club Championship a remarkable nine times in the past 10 seasons, with 2004 being the only year they missed out on the shield.

Sydney University’s women’s XV also have the minor premiership trophy in their keeping, having gone through the season undefeated. They start their finals campaign this weekend in defence of their 2011 title.

Scoreboard

Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Round 16

First Grade – Shute Shield: Sydney University 45 (Mitch Inman 2, Tim Davidson 2, Jeremy Tilse, Tom Carter, Angus Roberts tries; Dan Kelly 5 goals) d Southern Districts 17 (Apo Latinipula, Atieli Pakalani tries; Ben Vololova 2 goal, pen goal) at Sydney University No.1 Oval.

Second Grade – Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 65 (Tolu Latu 3, Nathan Trist 3, Sam Roberson, Willlie du Plessis, James McMahon, Dave Dillon tries; David Fong 6 goals, pen goal) d Southern Districts 29 (Sami Latunipului, Chris O’Reilly, D. Lochnet, P. Asquith tries; R. Jones 2 goals, pen goal. P. Asquith goal).

Third Grade – Henderson Shield: Sydney University 22 (Zubayr Abraham, Matt Armour, Jack Macklin tries; Jack Macklin 2 goals, pen goal) d Southern Districts 0.

Fourth Grade – Henderson Cup: Sydney University 83 (Ned Mullany 2, Ben Cannon 2, Cameron Lawrence 2, Jason Hofmeyr  2, Hamish King, Michael Pollastri, Brad Panayiotou, Ollie L’Estrange, A. Haangana tries; Cameron Lawrence 7 goals, Jason Hofmeyr 2 goals).

Colts – Semi-finals

First Grade: Sydney University 39 d Northern Suburbs 21.

Second Grade: Sydney University 35 d Northern Suburbs17.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition

First Grade: Sydney University 24 d Parramatta 5.

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