May 11, 2018 by admin
SOUTHERN Districts have advanced straight through to the Shute Shield rugby preliminary finals following an exciting, last-gasp 34-28 win over defending premiers Eastwood at T.G. Milner Field on Sunday.
Western Force Super Rugby representative centre, Nic Cummins, was the hero for the Rebels, scoring a last-ditch try.
The victory ensures Souths’ automatic qualification for the final four and means tournament favourites and minor premiers the Woodies will be forced to play again next weekend, needing a victory to keep their title hopes alive.
The goal kicking of Rebels’ fullback Ben Volavola kept his side in the match until the closing minutes of a game in which the lead change hands nine times.
Eastwood opened their account though a blistering converted try from winger Nick Reily, and after Souths flanker Sam Latunipulu scored, Eastwood led 15-10 at the break.
Souths hit back early in the second half with a try from Volavola after some striking footwork, while Eastwood replied through flanker Miles McCaffrey, and the referee then stepped in, awarding several penalties.
The game went down to the wire until Cummins raced down the line to secure the win that gives the Rebels a week off in round two of the finals.
Sydney University’s dominant 42-12 victory over Manly means the students join Souths in booking automatic passage to week three.
Like Eastwood, Manly will get another chance to make it to the final four next week when they play Parramatta, who pipped West Harbour 18-17, while Northern Suburbs face Eastwood next week after thrashing Warringah 75-17.
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