Intrust Super Shute Shield: Hot Shots & Pie-Baggers – Post-Round 12
With 12 rounds gone in the 2019 Intrust Super Shute Shield, Warringah are leading the way at the top with four other sides seemingly sitting pretty in the finals spots, and there’s an almighty battle about to be played out in the final third of the regular season for that all-important sixth place.
But who is lighting it up in the individual points and try-scoring stakes?
Having run the rule over the standout performers across the opening four rounds, we then took a closer look at the achievements from weeks five to eight. So now it’s time to bring everything up to date, with a review of the most recent month of footy in the best club competition in the country!
Round 9 was a big one for Gordon, and in particular for flyhalf Seán Kearns, who claimed a 17pt haul in the Highlander’s big win over Eastern Suburbs in Orange. And the only other player to reach double figures that weekend was playing for the opposition, Dan Donato racking up 14pts in defeat for the Beasts.
The prolific Jack Grant, who is enjoying a stellar season with Easts, picked up another brace of tries in the same match, a feat matched only by West Harbour’s Cooper Henwood against Manly, and Randwick’s Nathan Den Hoedt – from lock – against the Western Sydney Two Blues.
Kearns was at it again a week later, scoring another 17pts but this time to no avail, as Manly came from behind to take down the Stags at the Village Green. But his wasn’t the best individual haul of the day, that honour belonging to Eastwood’s Tayler Adams for his 19pts in a 56-21 dismantling of Southern Districts.
In what was a good day for individual feats, pacy utility back Beaudein Waaka grabbed 16pts in that win for the Marlins over Gordon, while the overall leader in the Roscoe Fay Trophy after eight rounds – West Harbour’s Tiaan Henk Swanepoel – got back on track after a relatively fallow outing the previous week by his standards, with another 14pts as the Pirates went down to in-form Warringah.
The ever-dependable Hamish Angus racked up 10pts in that game, as did James Kane for Sydney University as they took apart Randwick at Coogee Oval 40-18, while Souths’ Christian Kagiassis added another 11 to his season tally as he looks to defend the title he won last year.
In the try-scoring stakes, the plaudits went to abrasive Sydney Uni hooker Tom Horton, who crossed the white line three times against the Wicks, with doubles achieved by Norths’ Nathan Russell, and Warringah’s Josh Holmes and Ben Woollett.
Round 11 saw a whopping 294pts scored across the five matches, the second highest total of the season so far. And it was no surprise to see the familiar name of Tiaan Henk Swanepoel leading the way with 20pts for West Harbour against Norths – including a match-winning drop goal.
Two-time Ken Catchpole Medal winner Hamish Angus came away with 14pts as the Rats claimed victory over Western Sydney Two Blues at Lidcombe Oval, and that tally was matched by Easts’ Dan Donato, who continued with the kicking tee in the absence of Mack Mason to bag a vital 14pts and help the Beasts to a much-needed win at home to Souths.
Beaudein Waaka continued his surge up the charts with another 11pts for Manly as they grabbed a rare away win over the Students at University Oval No.2, with James Kane keeping his tally ticking over with 10pts in the same game. And there were four try-scoring doubles around the grounds, from Mahe Vailanu (Gordon), Sam Latunipulu (Souths), Trent Winterstein (W.S Two Blues), and Luke Reimer (Warringah).
Last weekend’s Round 12 wasn’t far behind in the excitement stakes, with another 291pts to be enjoyed at an average of just under 60 per match.
With Hamish Angus out injured, Warringah’s versatile Harley Attwater picked up the kicking baton with aplomb in the Rats win over Eastern Suburbs, adding a try for good measure to register an impressive 21pts. But just a few kilometres down the peninsula, Manly’s Beaudein Waaka was continuing his late-season points surge with two tries and 20pts as the Marlins won another big clash against a title-challenger, with a 40-31 victory over Northern Suburbs.
Christian Kagiassis is another one to watch on the run home, his 17pts helping the Rebels break a drought with a first win in two months over Western Sydney Two Blues, while there was an impressive debut for Randwick flyhalf Morgan Steyn – their fourth starting no.10 of the season – as his 14pts helped the Galloping Greens to a handsome win over Wests.
Another brace for Jack Grant had personal significance for him in the context of the pie-bagger’s list, but wasn’t enough to prevent Easts from sliding to defeat at Warringah – and out of the top six. Harry Potter has been a standout for Sydney Uni all season, and his double in the Students triumph over Eastwood was more of the same, and he was joined in the two-try stakes by Norths’ Connor Vest, and Souths’ Bayley Kuenzle.
So, with two-thirds of the regular season gone, it is still Tiaan Henk Swanepoel setting the pace in the race for the Roscoe Fay Trophy, with Christian Kagiassis and Beaudein Waaka the big movers behind him…
And that brace for Jack Grant puts him out on his own at the top of the pie-baggers list as the first player to reach double figures, with a bevy of talent breathing down his neck. But who will rise to the occasion in the last six rounds?
Happy hunting in Round 13!