Intrust Super Shute Shield: Hot Shots & Pie-Baggers – Post-Round 8
We’re eight rounds down, and while the battle for a place in the top six is proving to be a weekly merry-go-round in the Intrust Super Shute Shield, the race to see who finishes top of the pile in the individual points and try-scoring stakes is also hotting up!
Last time out we tracked the standout performers across the opening four rounds. But have those players maintained that form, or are there a host of new names that have been shining across the last month?
Round five brought a torrent of points, the biggest of the season so far, with 330 scored across the five games at an average of 66 per match. At a point every one minute and 20 seconds, the only downside for supporters is that it doesn’t leave much time for a beer or a snag in between!
Despite going down to Manly in an 80pt bonanza at the Village Green, Southern Districts utility back – and reigning Roscoe Fay Trophy winner – Christian Kagiassis, racked up the biggest individual haul of the weekend with 17. He was closely followed by Will Maddocks, who bagged 16pts for Eastern Suburbs in their come-from-behind win over West Harbour at Woollahra Oval, with Tiaan Henk Swanepoel getting 15 in the same game for the Pirates.
That tally was matched by Gordon’s Irish flyhalf Seán Kearns in their upset defeat of Sydney University at Chatswood Oval, while fellow countryman Bryan Croke slotted 14pts for Randwick in their equally commendable victory over Northern Suburbs at Coogee Oval, with Angus Sinclair getting 13pts for the Shoremen in response.
The first hat-trick of tries for the season came from West Harbour winger James Turner, albeit in defeat. And behind him there were several doubles achieved by Declan Moore (Sydney University), Jackson Mohi (Randwick), Hayden Cole (Western Sydney Two Blues), and Michael Icely (Eastwood).
One week later, it was a familiar face leading the way in the points stakes, as Hamish Angus returned from injury to finish with 15pts as Warringah downed Randwick at Rat Park. James Kane grabbed 14pts for himself in Sydney Uni’s return to form against Norths, while Randwick’s Bryan Croke kept up his recent good run with another 12pts in the aforementioned defeat to the Rats.
Also in double figures were Tiaan Henk Swanepoel – including a 60 metre penalty! – and Seán Kearns, as West Harbour and Gordon couldn’t be separated in a 23-all draw at Concord Oval. But the only player to cross the chalk more than once across the five games was Easts winger Dan Donato, who bagged a brace in the Beasts vital win against Eastwood at TG Millner Field.
In round seven, not only was the highest points-scorer also the player who procured the most tries, it was also a day to remember for the FRU (Front Rower’s Union), as Warringah hooker Wes Thomas found the chalk three times for a 15pt haul in their win over Southern Districts.
Randwick’s Tom Halse was the next cab off the rank with 14 as the Galloping Greens downed Manly, while Hamish Angus backed up his effort from the previous week with another 13pts at Rat Park. He was joined by 2017 Roscoe Fay Trophy winner Tyler Adams, who came away with a baker’s dozen in the Woodies impressive victory over Gordon, while the ever-reliable Angus Sinclair kept his eye in with 11pts as the Red and Blacks of Norths bounced back from defeat by Sydney Uni, to see off the Western Sydney Two Blues at Lidcombe Oval.
With Wes Thomas flying the flag for the ‘Piggies’ at the top of the try-scoring list, it was left to a trio of ‘Princesses’ to preserve some pride for their backline brethren, with Uni’s James Armstrong, and Norths’ Nathan Russell and Nick Duffy – in his first run-on start of the year after injury – all claiming a brace.
All of which brings us up to date with the events of round 8, which took place last weekend. Once again, the terrifically named Tiaan Henk Swanepoel led the way, with 17 points for the Pirates as they went down gallantly to table-topping Eastwood. James Kane left a few more Gilberts out of shape as he spanked another 13pts through the uprights with his left foot hammer in Sydney Uni’s late romp over Souths, and he was joined on the same tally by Tyler Adams for the Woodies.
The match of the round undoubtedly took place at Manly Oval, where the derby that keeps on giving saw Manly up 25-3 over Warringah at one point, before the Rats scored an incredible 28 unanswered points to come home 31-25, and enjoy the bragging rights on the peninsula. Hamish Angus provided 11 of those points, with counterpart Nic Holton adding 10 for the shell-shocked Marlins.
There wasn’t much to write home about in the try-scoring category meanwhile, with just three doubles from Uni’s Nathaniel Tamwoy, Northern Suburb’s Nuno Sausa Guedes, and Eastwood’s Kitione Ratu. But as we’ll see, Ratu’s double in particular, did come with some significance….
So with one round remaining until we reach the halfway point of an intriguing season, here’s your current runners and riders, with Tiaan Henk Swanepoel and James Kane setting the pace for the hot shots in the quest for the Roscoe Fay Trophy…
And that brace for Kitione Ratu shoots him to the top of the pie-baggers list, with plenty of players jostling for position behind him. But there’s a long way to go…
Happy hunting in round nine!