Following the postponement of this year’s Dewar Shield due to COVID-19, we’re following some of our favourite Melbourne Rebels who’ve elected to play in Sydney’s Shute Shield competition.
The final round of this year’s Shute Shield kicked off with six Melbourne Rebels in action on Saturday.
The ladder leading Gordon Highlanders enter the post-season in scintillating form, having now won three games in a row, following this weekend’s thrilling five-point victory over fellow premiership contenders, Eastwood, at TG Millner Field, 29-24.
The league’s leading try scoring side jumped out from the blocks early, registering three tries in 15 minutes, on their way to an early 19-0 lead.
The Woods soon responded with a try of their own in the 25th minute, before entering the major break trailing 19-7.
Riding the momentum built at the backend of the first half, the Eastwood continued to apply pressure on Gordon’s traditionally reliable forward pack, charging to snatch a 24-22 lead with nineteen minutes remaining.
The minor premiers would ultimately respond, running out winners in a thrilling warmup for next week’s finals.
For the Woods, Rebel Lachie Anderson continued to impress in limited game time, making 4 carries,3 passes, 2 tackles and beating 2 defenders.
For the winners, Charlie Abel ran out his fourth-consecutive 80-minute game, making 5 tackles, with 2 carries.
Searching for their first Shute Shield title in twenty-one years, Abel’s side will begin their finals campaign against Jeral Skelton’s Galloping Greens, who suffered a shock 57-point thumping to Rob Leota’s Eastern Suburbs.
In a contest with a combined fifteen tries, East’s recorded their highest score of the season against their highly ranked opponents, in an ominous warning to the rest of the league’s premiership contenders.
The mighty red and blue were dominant all day, more than doubling Randwick for metres run (829 to 381) and clean breaks (28-6).
Rebel Jeral Skelton was among his side’s best running for 24 metres, making 7 carries, 3 passes and 13 tackles.
Facing off against Skelton at the number 8, Melbourne’s Rob Leota was a threat in attack all game, running for 36 metres with 6 carries, making 3 passes and claiming 2 tackles.
Leota’s side will now face Eastwood in a mouth-watering finals clash.
The final round’s high scoring continued as the Student’s recorded a 72-24 win over a hapless Wester Sydney, with Rebels pair Declan Moore and Theo Strang running over for a try a piece in the 48-point drubbing.
University dominated the tackled count (189-100) with Declan Moore leading the charge, contributing 14 during over 80 minutes. In limited game time, Theo Strang recorded 5 points, running for 29 metres with 13 passes, while Josh Kemeny was unavailable.
In other results, Northern Suburbs suffered a surprise loss to Warringah (26-14), NHRU Wildfires claimed their second win of the season with a convincing 37-point win over Penrith, while West Harbour and Southern Districts played out a 45-all draw.