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Game Preview - 2018 Round 7

By Samuel Lindsay

vs Gordon Highlanders (H)



This weekend will see the first of our back to days, celebrating the great club that was St George District Rugby Union. St George and Gordon had their equal share of tussles throughout the history of the Shute Shield, but the rivalry was exemplified in the 1950’s. As minor premiers, St George went all the way to the 1954 Grand Final, only to be defeated by Sydney University. Two years later St George was back at the big dance, edged out 13-11 by Gordon. The next season however St George got their revenge, defeating Gordon 21-3 and claiming their maiden premiership victory.

Fast forward to 2018, post-merger and Southern Districts are looking for back to back wins in order to jump into the top six. A last ditch try secured victory over a strong Eastern Suburbs outfit that has been weeks in the making. A similar victory in second grade means Souths head into the clash full of confidence. The result, however was not without consequence, the return of Apolosi Latunipulu was influential and picking up a foot injury during the contest was not an intended outcome. Early reports are that Latunipulu will only be missing for a week, throwing the door wide open for Barr to test out a new pairing of Ben Chalmers and Angus McGrath, with Bayley Kuenzle heading over to France to link up with the Australian U20s squad. Ben Chalmers comes into the squad to make his first start in top grade with plenty of pedigree. Six caps with Scotland U20s was followed by a stint in France with Bordeaux Begles, where Chalmers rubbed shoulders with the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper. His father Craig was capped 60 times by Scotland. He’s also nephew of Southern Districts Favourite Son, Nick Bradfield.

The Scottish influenced Gordon Highlands will travel to Forshaw after a tough start to the season. There only win so far coming against the now evicted Penrith Emus. In saying that, had Southern Districts not claimed victory over Easts last weekend, we would also be in a similar predicament. A change in head coach at the Highlanders has already occurred at the club and each week will see them build in confidence with their new structures. Southern Districts will be hoping this Saturday they can emulate the victory of their 1957 counterparts. First grade will be kicking-off at 3pm and the first game of the day, fourth grade will get underway at 10:45am.

SDRC TEAM NEWS

Starting Line-up

1. Matt Gibbon

2. Liam Dwyer

3. Willie Ma'umalanga

4. Angus Ryan

5. Jake Douglas

6. Alex Perez

7. Conor Mitchell

8. Marcus Carbone (c)

9. Waldo Wessels

10. Ben Chalmers

11. Luke Smart

12. Angus McGrath

13. Denny Godinet

14. Rowland-Keni Kotabalavau

15. Christian Kagiassis

STATS

Form – Last 5 matches

Southern Districts L L L L W

Gordon L L W L L

Southern Districts vs Gordon at Forshaw – Past 5 years

2017 Round 4  Southern Districts 45 – 26 Southern Districts

2016 Round 8  Southern Districts 39 – 21 Southern Districts

2014 Round 4 Southern Districts 38 – 23 Southern Districts

2013 Round 6  Southern Districts 43 – 10 Southern Districts

Southern Districts 5 year record vs Gordon

P W L D F A

Forshaw Rugby Park 4 4 0 0 165 80

Chatswood Oval 4 3 0 1 163 93

Total 13 7 0 1 328 173

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