The Charter Hall Shute Shield is well underway and with the Waratahs not featuring in the Super Rugby AU finals, a host of stars return to their clubs.
In arguably the match of the round, Eastern Suburbs face off against Eastwood at Woollahra Oval with a total of six Waratahs back in action, including some close teammates who will be aiming for bragging rights at training.
Eastwood’s Tane Edmed and Mark Nawaqanitawase and Eastern Suburbs Jack Grant have spent a lot of time with each other on the training field and are good mates off it. Grant and Edmed know each other especially well after rooming together on Waratahs away trips
The Waratahs players have been excited at getting back to the Charter Hall Shute Shield, and there has been plenty of banter during the week with the Eastwood duo particularly vocal at training.
“We all love our clubs, so the boys have been going at it at training, throwing a bit of who’s better, who’s got the better team, but it’s pretty obvious that Woods have got the better team” Nawaqanitawase said.
Jack Grant has taken a different approach to the week, preferring to keep a lower profile than his teammates.
“Tane’s been chipping away a fair bit at me, we’re pretty close and we’re always roommates when we go away, but I’m just staying quiet and I’ll keep my powder dry until game day,” Grant said.
Last year Eastwood claimed the bragging rights in both matches against Eastern Suburbs winning the regular season match at Woollahra Oval and their elimination Quarter-Final matchup.
“We played each other in the quarter-final last year and I bring it up all the time.
“We were coming 5th and they were coming 2nd and we beat them and knocked them out of the competition, which was awesome, so I’ve brought that up a fair bit,” Edmed said.
“How could we forget about last year, we got them in the quarterfinals and kicked them out of the comp,’ Nawaqanitawase said.
“So, they’ll remember that one and we think it will be a similar feeling for them this weekend as well”
Grant was certain that his Eastern Suburbs teammates will be using the losses as motivation heading into the clash on the weekend.
“I’m still hurting about that game, we talked about it before, we need to get one back,” Grant said.
“They beat us at home last year as well, so we’re definitely fired up to get revenge on our home track”.
Jack Grant will be joined at Eastern Suburbs by Waratahs team-mates Moses Tuipulotu, Jeremy Williams, and Charlie Gamble, and will be looking to send his Waratahs forwards at Edmed.
“I’m not going to go looking for Tane but I’m definitely going to send some of our big boys his way that’s for sure,” he said
“But if I catch him of the bottom of the ruck, I might give him a bit of a tickle.”
Eastern Suburbs and Eastwood both have two wins from their opening three games, and Mark Nawaqanitawase was keen to put a friendly wager on top of the competition points at stake.
“If we win, Grant has to rock an Eastwood jersey at training next week, if they win, I’ll happily wear whatever they want me to wear cause it’s not going to happen”.
Eastern Suburbs host Eastwood at Woollahra Oval this Saturday at 3pm.
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Waratahs in action for Round 4 of the Charter Hall Shute Shield
Kristian Jensen (Randwick), Mosese Tuipulotu (Eastern Suburbs), Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs), Jack Grant (Eastern Suburbs), Jeremy Williams (Eastern Suburbs), Chris Talakai (Sydney Uni), Darcy Breen (Sydney Uni), Henry Robertson (Sydney Uni), Hugh Bokenham (Sydney Uni), Sam Caird (Sydney Uni), Sio Tatola (Manly), Jack Whetton (Northern Suburbs), Mark Nawaqanitawase (Eastwood), Tane Edmed (Eastwood), Tepai Moeroa (Western Sydney), Te Tera Faulkner (Southern Districts), Joe Cotton (Southern Districts)