Club Corner: Top insights ahead of the 2020 Shute Shield Grand Final

Tue, Oct 27, 2020, 2:37 AM
NSW Rugby
by NSW Rugby
Gordon celebrating a win following the Semi FInals. Photo: Karen Watson
Gordon celebrating a win following the Semi FInals. Photo: Karen Watson

After two exhilarating Semi Final matches, the 2020 Shute Shield Grand Finalists have been decided.

Gordon will take on Eastwood at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday October 31 from 3.00pm AEDT with the game being streamed LIVE on 7TWO & 7plus.

Last weekend Gordon outplayed Eastern Suburbs 28-10 after a low scoring 3-3 first half.

Northern Suburbs and Eastwoods’ Semi-Final fixture was equally as gritty…the 100-minute kicking thriller saw the Woods outdo the Shoremen four penalty goals to three with a full-time result of 9-12.

Gordon and Eastwood last met in a Grand Final back in 1976, when the Stags defeated the Woods 33-4.

After a 2017 Premiership winning season at Warringah, Head Coach Darren Coleman set his sights on Gordon, and what a remarkable rise it has been.

At the end of the 2018 season, Gordon finished 11th on the ladder.

In 2019, Coleman took the Club just shy of finals footy.

Fast track to 2020 and the boys are off to the big dance for the first time since 1998. A combination of dominant coaching and meticulous recruiting, Gordon really has been the comeback story of recent seasons.

If you'd told the men in Tartan two years ago, they would be playing in the 2020 Shute Shield Grand Final, as well as holding the Club Championship title, something that Sydney University had held for the past 16 years, they’d tell you you’re dreaming.

For the past two decades, Eastwood have continued to be a formidable force in the competition, playing finals footy regularly.

Ben Batger, a Premiership winning old boy who bleeds blue and white, officially took over the coveted Woods Head Coaching role at the beginning of 2019 from Women’s Aussie 7s Coach John Manenti.

Batger was very much Manenti’s apprentice, eager to follow in his footsteps after Manenti spearheaded Eastwood to their 2011, 2014 & 2015 victories.

The matchup everyone will be talking about is between playmakers Rod Iona (Gordon) and NSWRU Gen Blue’s Tane Edmed (Eastwood), who to put it lightly, have had outstanding seasons respectively for their clubs.

Their presence and control around the paddock have been praised throughout the season, and their kicking abilities have certainly won games for them this season.

But with that said, the key difference this weekend could well be the platform their forwards provide to allow them to take such control of the paddock.

While Eastwood may have more recent Grand Final experience, Gordon are hungry to claim the final, and most important award of the 2020 season.

Gordon Premierships: 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1976, 1993, 1995 and 1998

Eastwood Premierships: 1999, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2015

In other matches, Sydney University go head-to-head with Eastern Suburbs in both the First Colts (from 10.45am AEDT) and Second Grade (from 11.45am AEDT) Grand Final fixtures which will be live on Cluch TV.