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Sydney University have remarkably scored three second-half tries to come back from a 16-point deficit and win back-to-back titles in the 2019 Shute Shield final. Tom Horton was man of the match.
Sydney Uni 21
Warringah Rats 16
For the second year in a row, Sydney University and the Warringah Rats will face off in the Shute Shield final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 3:15pm (AEST).
The Students have been the picture of consistency in the premier domestic competition for the last 24 months, having won the premiership last year and backed it up with a minor premiership this time around, with a chance to go back to back today.
They were dominant throughout the season, and have backed that up throughout the finals campaign with a couple of excellent performances, blasting their way past Manly 47-31 in the first week of finals, then hammering Northern Suburbs 40 points to 7 last weekend.
While their opponents have been the closest thing they have had to consistent competition in the last two years, it’s not hard to see why they come into today’s game as favourites.
Names on the team sheet include Harry Johnson Holmes and Jake Gordon, while the nucleus of the team is solid. The Students are also in grand finals across all four grades today, showing just where they are at in New South Wales rugby.
The Rats will be burning from last year’s loss though on grand final day, and will be hoping a new venue can bring with it a change of fortunes, as the decider moves from North Sydney Oval to Sydney’s new landmark stadium in Parramatta.
They also have extra reason to play strongly today, with Hamish Angus announcing his retirement during the week.
The inspirational club captain has only just got off the medical table to play in the final, and will be pushing through the pain barrier for the club in his final game, so revenge and sending him out a winner will be on the mind for the men from the northern beaches.
Like the students, Warringah had a strong season. They finished third on the table, but won as many games as their grand final opponents, and what’s more, proved beyond all reasonable doubt they could handle the pressure last weekend, getting past Eastwood 22-15 in a thrilling semi-final.
There is a reason the students are favourites for the final. They have been the top team, a picture of consistency, and should take the grandest prize in New South Wales state rugby again.
Sydney University by 6.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 Shute Shield final from 3:15pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 3:15pm (AEST)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
TV: Live, 7TWO (NSW only)
Online: Live, Plus 7 (NSW only)
Betting: Sydney University $1.38, Warringah $3.15
1 Harry Johnson Holmes, 2 Declan Moore, 3 Chris Talakai, 4 Lachlan Swinton, 5 David McDuling, 6 Nick Champion de Crespigny, 7 Josh Kemeny, 8 Rohan O’Regan, 9 Jake Gordon, 10 Ben Hughes, 11 James Kane, 12 Guy Porter, 13 James Dargaville, 14 Harry Potter, 15 Tim Clements
1 Rory O’Connor, 2 Robert Kelly, 3 Faavae Sila, 4 Matt Foulds, 5 Sam Thomson, 6 Ru MacKenzie, 7 Boyd Killingworth, 8 Sam Ward, 9 Josh Holmes, 10 Hamish Angus (C), 11 Harry Jones, 12 Tyson Davis, 13 Ben Woollett, 14 Benny Marr, 15 Liam Windon.
Bench: 16 Wes Thomas, 17 Austin Faamausili, 18 Sam Needs, 19 Max Girdler, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Harry Brown, 22 Harley Attwater, 23 Tom Connor