The East Campbelltown Eagles have qualified for the 2014 Sydney Shield finals series after overcoming Burwood North Ryde United 40-30 on the weekend in the final round of home and away matches.
It means the first semi final will pit Campbelltown against Wentworthville, this Saturday, September 6 at Ringrose Park, Wentworthville. Kick off is scheduled at 1:30pm.
It was flying Eagles winger Giovanni Vatuvai with a superb line break that lead to a Wayde Dunley grubbing kick and a Sean Connor try under the posts. Connor converted, then scored a second off a Sam Hoare short pass for the Eagles to sprint to a 12-nil lead.
Hoare put in a brilliant kick for Sama Sauvao to score next to the posts, which was converted for an 18-nil scoreline after just 20 minutes.
A try to Burwood in the corner brought them back into the contest at 18-4.
Burwood scored again in the corner to make it 18-10, before Wayde Dunley busted through the line and got a good offload that saw PJ Hunt crash over for a try under the posts.
Connor, whose radar was on, converted to make the score 24-10.
And then it was on for young and old and the start of a mini try-fest.
Hunt scored his second just before half time. Connor duly converted and it was 30-10.
Then Philipo Sauvao scored right on the stroke of half time, but Connor finally missed a conversion, leaving the score at the break 34-10.
The first 20 minutes of the second stanza came down to defence, with the Eagles blowing a couple of scoring opportunities, but it was Burwood who posted first points to reduce the deficit. The score at that point was 34-14.
But the Eagles hit back with a converted try to Rob Neave to seal the match at 40-14.
Burwood hit straight back with a try in the corner and one more a few moments later. They scored again on full time and the conversion was successful to finish up 40-30.
Eagles coach Gary Potts said after the match: “We are so proud of the guys’ efforts, and for the club to do so well is a credit to everyone.
“The boys are looking forward to the semis.”
Best for the Eagles where Philipo Sauvao, Jacob Nansen and Sam Hoare.