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East Campbelltown Eagles in grand final stampede – seven sides qualify for big one

By the time East Campbelltown Eagles first grade ran on to the field for their big clash against St Marys on Sunday, the club were already celebrating having seven teams in 2019 grand finals.

A record six junior Eagles sides qualified for grand finals to be played at Campbelltown Stadium in a fortnight.

Then the club’s reserve grade team joined the grand final stampede when it defeated Five Dock 28-18 to also make the decider.

The largest crowd of the year was in attendance at Waminda “Tint Me Up” Oval for the first grade encounter and the home fans left happy after the Eagles came from behind to snatch a 26-22 win and two valuable premiership points.

With two regular season matches remaining the Eagles, who are the reigning premiers of the Sydney Shield, are in third place on the ladder.

Their last two matches are away from home but are against teams lower on the ladder, first the Bulls (9) and then Brothers (11).

Some of the East Campbelltown Eagles’ Polynesian players with game day sponsor Triggz Street Wear. Photos by Brett Atkins

On Sunday, the Eagles, who were celebrating their Polynesian round sponsored by Triggz Street Wear, posted first points when Jarryd Eggleton barged over near the line and Sean Connor converted for a 6-0 lead 15 minutes in.

St Mary’s hit back with two quick tries at the 20th and 23rd minute to grab the lead at 12-6.

 The Eagles responded with a try to Theo Leato, but left trailing 12-10 when Connor’s attempt of goal was waved away.

The game was played at a cracking pace which suited the visitors and when St Mary’s scored a converted try at the 35th minute, they went into the break with an 18-10 lead.

The second half saw both teams throwing everything at each other and it was Eagles Amanono Tovio who broke the deadlock with 20 minutes left.

Connor converted to reduce the margin to just two points.

Eagles hit the lead 20-18 when Theo Leato crossed for his second try.

The Campbelltown boys continuing to pressure St Mary’s and scored again out wide when Samuel Kimi-Ioane took an amazing catch to cross for the match winner.

Connor’s conversion gave the Eagles an 8 point buffer with 7 minutes remaining.

With a minute left on the clock St Mary’s crossed for the final score of 26-22.

Best for the Eagles was Alex Potifara, Vince Ripepi and John Da Silva, while man of the match honours went to Mason Talolua and the players player to Amanono Tovio

Stand in coach Korj Kadir, pictured above, said:

“Our guys showed true grit today. The game was of very high standard and St Mary’s threw everything at us.

“I was really pleased with our halves and their kicking game, they put St Mary’s on the back foot all game,’’ Kadir said.

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