By Mark Giacheri
Randwick versus Sydney University Grand Final Loss 6 - 46
It was that incredible Randwick spirit that was on display on Saturday at Concord oval as we went down to Sydney University in the Grand Final. The integrity and courage of the Galloping Greens was foremost on the field as they persisted with their best efforts until the final whistle blew. As a coach you cannot be prouder than to sit back and say that the players never once gave up in that long, physical and wet game.
The game was played in tough circumstances with six of our professional players injured or unavailable to play from the week before. We had eleven non-professional club players playing against a team of 15 super 14 or Wallaby players and no fresh reserves! Additionally we were handicapped by some tough refereeing decisions with every 50/50 penalty going against us and this was exacerbated with the yellow card we received.
There wasn't much in the game in the first half and we were unlucky not to score a try or two. We were extremely positive at half time as we had faced a similar scenario with Eastwood the week before. We were confident of turning the game around and scoring early however the penalties went Sydney University's way and this cost us the opportunity to get back into the game.
It was a disappointing end to a long and hard season but it just makes us more determined to seek revenge next year!
I'd especially like to say a big thank you to our supporters who braved the weather on Saturday and made the journey to Concord Oval. We heard you in the stands and it really boosted our spirits and put some force behind the players on the field. Thanks again - you are the best !!
Here is how NSW Rugby Reported the game:
Barnes stars as Uni takes title number six
Berrick Barnes continued his brilliant late-season form to guide Sydney University to their sixth straight premiership with a 46-6 victory over Randwick in the Tooheys New Shute Shield Grand Final at Concord Oval.
Barnes was named Mirvac Man of the Match after scoring 26 points from a try, five penalties and three conversions, receiving a standing ovation when he left the field.
The Students scored five tries to nil in the victory which doubled as their 13th straight after slipping to as low as ninth place on the Shute Shield ladder earlier in the year.
Randwick were the first team to go close off a well-worked lineout move which put Sekope Kepu into space however after offloading to hooker John Fonokalafi the play soon broke down.
Uni was then first on the board after a weight of territorial dominance which resulted in Tom Carter crossing beneath the uprights in the eleventh minute.
Barnes converted and added a penalty four minutes later, however a three-pointer to Toby Browne in the 26th minute closed the gap to a converted try.
The Students No.10 continued to tick the scoreboard over with two penalties from three attempts in the space of six minutes to open up a 13-point lead. Browne narrowed the margin to 16-6 at half-time after receiving a penalty from in front as the siren sounded.
Ten minutes into the second half Barnes kicked his fourth penalty and added another three minutes later after Seilala Lam was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge.
Soon after the resumption Uni were again deep in Randwick territory and Alfi Mafi crossed for the Students second try.
The floodgates had now opened and despite Kurtley Beale making a brilliant try-saving tackle on Uni speedster Greg Jeloudev, good recycling found Barnes running into a hole to score. He proceeded to convert his own try from wide out to take the score to 36-6 and shortly after received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was given an early mark.
Peter Betham and Ben McCalman both crossed inside the final ten minutes to take the margin to 40 points before Tim Davidson became the first captain to hold the premiership trophy aloft for the sixth time.
It is the 27th premiership for Sydney University which brings them within one title of the record held by Randwick.
Sydney University 46 (Tom Carter, Alfi Mafi, Berrick Barnes, Peter Betham, Ben McCalman tries; Berrick Barnes 5 pens, 3 cons) d Randwick 6 (Toby Browne 2 pens) at Concord Oval. HT: Sydney University 16-6. Referee: Angus Gardner. Crowd: 5410. Mirvac Man of the Match: Berrick Barnes (Sydney University). Crowd: 5410.
By the clock
11th - Tom Carter try; Berrick Barnes conversion. Sydney University 7-0
15th - Berrick Barnes penalty goal. Sydney University 10-0
23rd - Berrick Barnes missed drop goal
26th - Toby Browne penalty goal. Sydney University 10-3
29th - Berrick Barnes penalty goal. Sydney University 13-3
33rd - Berrick Barnes missed penalty attempt
36th - Berrick Barnes penalty goal. Sydney University 16-3
40th - Toby Browne penalty goal. Sydney University 16-6
50th - Berrick Barnes penalty goal. Sydney University 19-6
53rd - Seilala Lam yellow card (shoulder charge)
53rd - Berrick Barnes penalty goal. Sydney University 22-6
55th - Alfi Mafi try; Berrick Barnes conversion. Sydney University 29-6
60th - Berrick Barnes try; Berrick Barnes conversion. Sydney University 36-6
72nd - Peter Betham try; Dan Kelly missed conversion. Sydney University 41-6
77th - Ben McCalman try; Julian Huxley missed conversion. Sydney University 46-6
By Craig Morrison
Having claimed the minor premiership and a two from two win ratio over Warringah this season, Randwick 2nd grade were certainly the team with a great deal of expectation going into Saturdays grand final.? Early in the game, we managed to dominate the territory and possession but a lack of composure with the ball and a number of ill disciplined moments in defence continually relieved the pressure for Warringah, who defended very well but were aided greatly by our mistakes. In the break down contest Warringah were continually able to slow down our recycle, which has been an area of strength this season and as such we found ourselves trying to attack with very slow possession against a defence that was intent on slowing our ball at the ruck and then fanning quickly in defence to do it all again at the next ruck. This tactic proved to be the difference in a game where their were few scoring chances but Warringah took advantage of each of theirs.? ?Both teams went close in the first half to crossing the line but scores were still locked at 8-3 on the stroke of half time when Warringah ran down the short side with numbers and managed to score in the left corner and convert for a 10-3 lead. Having had the better of the first half in terms of possession, this was a telling blow at this time in the match.
Randwick came out of the blocks in the second half pressuring the Warringah defence in the opening exchanges but poor ball security on the Warringah line once again foiled our attack, a trend which seemed to play out all match. Penalties at the tackle again hurt us at crucial times and Warringah were able to push their lead out to 14-3 with two penalty conversions. Decisions not to take three points at times earlier in the match may have kept things closer but realistically, we lacked the pace and support play in our attack and we were not able to produce the attacking raids that the team had become renowned for. As the clock ticked down the Warringah forwards, who had controlled the breakdown well throughout the match, simply ate away time and with ten minutes remaining struck the vital blow with a try in the left corner for a 19-3 lead, which was the score at full time.
Our boys had certainly arrived at this day having achieved a great deal - the minor premiership and strong wins over their opponents in the rounds. However on this day, the reality of injuries above and the impact of having four teams in the grand final, was too much against a club that had only one team playing for their first premiership in some time. The efforts of the players and all associated with the club, just to get to Concord Oval should not be understated, as competition at this point of the season becomes far more difficult when you are the only club competing in all grades. Yet this is exactly what we aim for every season and next year we will aim to win more games on the big day. ?Thanks to all our sponsors, supporters, volunteers and club management for enabling us to get to this point. Up the Wicks!
Here is how NSW Rugby Reported the Game:
Colin Caird Shield Grand Final
RANDWICK v WARRINGAH
Warringah scored a try in each half to claim their first second grade premiership since 1990, defeating Randwick 19-3 in the Colin Caird Shield Grand Final.
The opening forty was dominated by defence with an early trade of penalties the only scores for much of the half.
Randwick had their chances when camped on the Warringah line, however the Rats defence held firm. Warringah also missed a golden opportunity to cross when Dave Feltscheer made a 60m break but didn't pass to teammates inside and outside when drawing the fullback.
However the Rats did manage to touch down in the shadows of half-time when a well-worked overlap saw Brock McGarity get over near the left touchline. The missed conversion attempt left the Rats with an 8-3 half-time lead.
Lock Tristan Stanley scored the first points of the second half with an early penalty before the arm wrestle which dominated the opening stanza returned.
However the momentum moved well and truly behind the Rats with 20 minutes to play when Stanley kicked his third penalty and then two minutes later Feltscheer crossed in the left corner to open up a 19-3 lead.
With the minor premiers now needing three tries in the last 15 minutes to overcome the Rats they needed to throw the ball around but failed to breach Warringah's staunch defensive line.
Warringah 19 (Brock McGarity, Dave Feltcheer tries; Tristan Stanley 3 pens) d Randwick 3 (Danny Kroll pen) at Concord Oval. HT: Warringah 8-3. Referee: Angus Gardner
Third Grade and Fourth Grade
As reported by NSW Rugby
JR Henderson Shield Grand Final
EASTERN SUBURBS v RANDWICK
Randwick has claimed its first third grade premiership in ten years after defeating Eastern Suburbs 12-3 in the JR Henderson Shield Grand Final.
The Galloping Greens trailed at half-time before scoring all of their points in a five minute second half blitz which broke the heart of the Beasts.
The first half was dominated by defence, however Easts should have headed to the break with a far bigger lead than three points after Warwick Percival landed just one of six penalty attempts.
Randwick scored the first try of the match midway through the second half when a big overlap resulted in Andrew Wing Kee crossing in the right corner. The difficult conversion attempt went across the face leaving Randwick with a 5-3 advantage .
Minutes later they were over again when flyhalf Glen Mekuri brilliantly read a short ball from Easts, steaming through to take the intercept and run 55m to touch down under the posts. He then converted his own try for a 12-3 lead.
The minor premiers - who defeated Randwick in their two home-and-away encounters this year - had their chances in the last 15 minutes however the Wicks' defence was far too strong in the run-in to the final siren.
Randwick 12 (Andrew Wing Kee, Glen Mekuri tries;Glen Mekuri con) d Eastern Suburbs 3 (Warwick Percival pen) at Concord Oval. HT: Eastern Suburbs 3-0. Referee: Richard Goswell
JR Henderson Cup Grand Final
EASTERN SUBURBS v RANDWICK
A late try to James Burroughs has delivered Eastern Suburbs the JR Henderson Cup after defeating Randwick 13-10 in the fourth grade Grand Final.
The result completes a dream season for the Beasts who dropped just one match throughout 2010, winning the premiership with their 16th straight win.
Both sides swapped early penalties before a second three-pointer to Blake Boulton edged Easts in front 6-3 at the break.
However Randwick - who won the Henderson Cup in 2008 and 2009 - didn't give up and scored a great front rowers try through hooker Tom Weber who finished off a 20m break from prop Vlad Savovski.
Michael Walker-Fitton's conversion gave Randwick a 10-6 lead early in the half which was maintained for an extended period as defence continued to dominate.
However after a period of sustained pressure on the defending champions' line, eventually Burroughs dived over from short range. Boulton converted from the sideline to put the minor premiers in front 13-10.
Randwick had their opportunities inside the last five minutes however costly turnovers and penalties cruelled their chances of a third-straight title.
Eastern Suburbs 13 (James Burroughs try; Blake Boulton 2 pens, con) d Randwick 10 (Tom Weber try; Michael Walker-Fitton con, pen). HT: Eastern Suburbs 6-3. Referee: Matt Kellahan.