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Game Preview - 2018 Round 5

By Samuel Lindsay

vs Warringah Rats (A)



Southern Districts are getting set to take the 53km road-trip to Rat Park this Saturday and face reigning Shute Shield Champions, Warringah Rats. As we head into Round Five of the competition, the Rebels have had a less than desirable start to the season after three successive defeats to West Harbour, Manly and Eastwood. Whilst Warringah were edged out by North Sydney in Round One, they have gone on to claim three wins to begin their campaign. However while that looks good on paper, the reality is the Rats claimed a narrow and gutsy win over the Marlins, followed by victory against Parramatta, a game in which saw the former receive two yellow cards. Their win last week, came in what was became Penrith’s final fixture in the Shute Shield competition.

The injury toll has certainly been a talking point around Forshaw. With club incumbents, Dewet Roos, Apolosi Latunipulu, Rohan Saifoloi and Chris Nay still unavailable and yet to feature in a Souths jersey in 2018. Add to that list Fili Tufui, Eli Pilz and Conor Young following last weekend’s clash against Eastwood along with the inevitable departure of Jed Holloway to the Waratahs camp. Despite this Souths were only edged out by Eastwood at TG Millner last weekend, with similar stories in previous weeks. A return of some formidable names over coming weeks, along with a confidence inspiring win this weekend, could be the kick start the club requires.

With injuries come opportunities, with Liam O’Connor named to make his debut at scrum half this weekend. Finding his feet in 2nd Grade over the past weeks following his graduation from the Colts program, O’Connor has looked comfortable and won’t feel out of place in a 1st Grade jersey. News broke late on Thursday of the return of Waldo Wessels to the Candy Stripes. His inclusion is yet to be known but there is potential he could feature at some point in the contest. Welcome back Waldo, red and blue was always your colour!

There was early talk of a Southern Districts vs Warringah Rats curtain raiser to occur prior to NSW Waratahs vs Auckland Blues fixture at Brookvale Oval, following the Tahs eviction from Allianz Stadium for the A-League Grand Final, which will now occur at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle. Those plans were quashed when an announcement was made that Northern Beaches Council had informed NSW Rugby that a Shute Shield match was not permitted to be played on the surface. A schoolboy match will still be played however. With that Souths will be on the road with1st Grade kicking-off at 3pm and the first game of the day, 4th Grade getting underway at 10:45am.


SDRC TEAM NEWS

Starting Line-up

1. Matt Gibbon

2. Liam Dwyer

3. Shambeckler Vui

4. Angus Ryan

5. Jake Douglas

6. Alex Perez

7. Conor Mitchell

8. Marcus Carbone (c)

9. Liam O'Connor

10. Christian Kagiassis

11. Luke Smart

12. Denny Godinet

13. William Latu

14. Rowland-Keni Kotabalavau

15. Jamie Verran

STATS

Form – Last 5 matches

Southern Districts L W L L L

Warringah Rats W L W W W

Southern Districts vs Warringah Rats at Rat Park – Past 5 years

2017 Round 6  Warringah Rats 29 – 24 Southern Districts

2016 Round 3  Warringah Rats 23 – 24 Southern Districts

2015 Round 1 Warringah Rats 24 – 26 Southern Districts

2014 Round 15  Warringah Rats 18 – 50 Southern Districts

2013 Round 3 Warringah Rats 13 – 14 Southern Districts

Southern Districts 5 year record vs Warringah Rats

P W L F A

Forshaw Rugby Park 4 2 2 109 107

Rat Park 5 4 1 138 107

Total 9 4 3 247 214

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