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A Rugby Update

The 2019 Shute Shield season got off to a great start with solid wins against Wests, Gordon and Randwick. Looking back, the bye weekend probably came a little early and the loss of momentum saw us lose a thriller against Manly followed by disappointing outings against Parramatta, Warringah and Sydney Uni. Being a young team, we knew there would be some hiccups along the way, however the loss of a couple of our senior players through injury, suspension and drop in form has seen us come back to the pack. The team has been playing some really good footy, but missed opportunities and untimely errors have cost us dearly. The coaches are working extra hard to improve the fitness and skills base of all grades and when it clicks, it looks great. Greater consistency is the key.

The positives so far have been our young guys really stepping up. Bayley Kuenzle, James Wayland, Nathan Lawson, all members of our 2018 1st Grade Colts semi-final team, have really excelled in their first few games in 1st Grade. Bayley has directed the attack with skills beyond his years, while "Waylo" has not taken a backward step against much more fancied and experienced front rows. Nathan Lawson was a member of the victorious Australian Under 20's side that knocked off the Junior All Blacks for the first time in years. His work at both the breakdown and in attack have been tremendous.

Don McKinnon and the entire coaching team are directing all their efforts to getting us back on the win ledger. All grades are either in, or within striking distance of the Top 6. It doesn't get any easier with grade away to Norths this week, followed by a much needed home game against current ladder leaders and arch-rivals, Eastwood. Hopefully, injured players returning to the frame will increase depth across the grades and we are always willing to welcome back new and former players who are still considering a run.

Player depth is key as the season continues. rugby league player, James Hasson, has made the conversion to Rugby seamlessly and his experience and tireless work effort has been a great asset.

As always, we appreciate supporters at all our away games but looking forward to a big crowd to welcome us back to Forshaw against Eastwood on 8 June.

Sean Murphy
Director of Rugby
Southern Districts Rugby Club

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