Sydney University scored three tries to two to add to their impressive trophy cabinet and claim the Tooheys New Shute Shield with a five-point victory over Randwick. In a great day of Rugby at the Sydney Football Stadium, it was the biggest margin of the day as Eastern Suburbs (2nd Grade), Gordon (3rd Grade) and Randwick (4th Grade) all claimed narrow victories.
Tooheys New Shute Shield Grand Final (1st Grade)
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY V RANDWICK
Sydney University have claimed their fifth straight premiership after defeating Randwick 24-19 in the Tooheys New Shute Shield Grand Final at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Tom Carter was named Mirvac Man of the Match after causing havoc in the midfield in both attack and defence, forming a lethal combination with Perth-bound centre Mitch Inman who scored the decisive try of the match.
Grand Final Week's worst kept secret was revealed shortly before kick-off with Adam Freier's inclusion at openside flanker for Randwick, lining up directly against HSBC Waratahs teammate Phil Waugh.
A break by Carter in the fourth minute set up the first scoring chance for Sydney University however Nathan Charles knocked the ball on over the line from the ensuing phase.
The Students didn't have to wait much longer to bother the scorers, Charles eventually touching down in the eighth minute following a good break by his Australian Under 20s teammate Peter Betham. Halangahu converted from 15m in from the left touchline for a 7-0 lead.
A turning point came in the 25th minute when Freier left the field clutching a hamstring, and Randwick were forced into uncontested scrums when a mouth cut to Atonio Halangahu saw him enter the blood bin.
Marshall Milroy got Randwick on the board via two penalties, before Nick Edwards shot down the left side to take the Uni lead back out to eight.
Randwick finally turned territory into points when Bernie Orbell broke the line before getting a perfect ball between defenders to send Drew Mitchell over in the corner. Milroy missed the conversion leaving Uni with a 14-11 advantage at half-time.
The Galloping Greens hit the lead early into the second half when Francis Fainifo put Milroy over in the right corner, however Uni hit straight back with Mitch Inman scoring a great centres try after ploughing through the defence.
Halangahu's conversion restored a five-point lead, and he extended that in the 53rd minute with a well-timed drop goal to open up a 24-16 break.
Milroy closed the margin to within a try with his third penalty of the game, but despite repeated opportunities in the University quarter, the Wicks couldn't break the defending premiers' line sending the Shute Shield back to campus.
Other injury concerns saw HSBC Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu leave the field during the second half with an ankle injury, while NSW skipper Phil Waugh also came off in the closing stages.
The victory marks Sydney University's fifth straight premiership, following on from yesterday's win in the top two grades of Colts. The Students also won the 2009 Gregor George Cup (Club Championship), ES Marks Shield (First Grade Minor Premiers), Sir Roden Cutler Shield (Home Game Champions - 11 defences) and the Eric Spilsted Memorial Shield (Colts Club Championship).
Sydney University 24 (Nathan Charles, Nick Edwards, Mitch Inman tries; Daniel Halangahu 2 cons, drop) d Randwick 19 (Drew Mitchell, Marshall Milroy tries; Marshall Milroy 3 pens) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: Stuart Dickinson. HT: Sydney University 14-11.
Colin Caird Shield Grand Final (2nd Grade)
EASTERN SUBURBS V GORDON
Eastern Suburbs scored an upset victory over minor premiers Sydney University to qualify for the Colin Caird Shield Grand Final and went on with the job to claim the title with a 32-29 victory over Gordon.
Each side scored four tries, however Easts had established their winning break well before the final margin ended at just three points.
The game took on a typically combative Grand Final feel in the opening half, however a surge of points to both teams in the final ten minutes saw the sides locked at 15-all at half-time.
Eastern Suburbs then put the foot down, scoring the next two tries through James Rowles and Sam Windsor to establish a 32-15 lead.
Gordon scored a try with ten minutes to go to keep their hopes alive, however the Beasts were able to control enough possession so not even a consolation try in the dying stages could deny an Easts premiership.
Eastern Suburbs 32 (Joe Azar, Ben Hopkins, James Rowles, Sam Windsor tries; Warwick Percival 3 cons, 2 pens) d Gordon 29 (Luke Duncan, Greg Wade, Dustin McGregor, Josh Whittaker tries; Donny Nepia 3 cons, pen) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: James Leckie. HT: 15-all.
JR Henderson Shield Grand Final (3rd Grade)
GORDON V SYDNEY UNIVERSITY
Gordon has turned the 2009 minor premiership into Grand Final victory with a 6-3 result over Sydney University to claim the JR Henderson Shield for the second straight year.
Defence and tactical kicking dominated the clash with any attacking opportunities snuffed out well by both teams.
Dan Nieass kicked two from five penalty goals for the Highlanders, while Hayden Bushell scored the only points for the Students.
Gordon 6 (Dan Nieass 2 pens) d Sydney University 3 (Hayden Bushell pen) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: Callan O'Neill. HT: Gordon 6-0
JR Henderson Cup Grand Final (4th Grade)
RANDWICK V WEST HARBOUR
Randwick scored a try in the second last minute of play to claim the 2009 Henderson Cup in a one-point thriller against West Harbour.
After the defending champions and minor premiers crossed early through giant centre Iosua Leasusu, West Harbour hit back with three tries to take a 19-8 lead into the break.
Midway through the second half Randwick scored their second try to get within four points of the lead, however it took until the 59th minute for the crucial score to come when Tim Satiu ploughed over in the left corner.
Randwick 20 (Iosua Leasusa, Maraki Toa, Tim Satiu tries; Dale Lindsay con, pen) d West Harbour 19 (Luke Schafer, Mana Vi, Taani Kaliti tries; Luke Schafer 2 cons) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: Guy Grinham. HT: West Harbour 19-8.