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Southern Districts aim for upset in Shute Shield grand final with Kane Douglas on board

Rebel rouser: Kane Douglas will bring his Waratahs experience to Southern Districts for the Shute Shield grand final.

Rebel rouser: Kane Douglas will bring his Waratahs experience to Southern Districts for the Shute Shield grand final.

After two major Shute Shield upsets  –  the elimination of defending champions Sydney University and minor premiers Manly from the title race last week – will there be another in Saturday’s grand final?

Ask Southern Districts players, who are chasing their first title in the game at Concord Oval, and the answer would  be: ''Yes.'' Ask their opposition players from Eastwood who have won the title and shield four times, and the answer would be: ''No.''

Despite history favouring the Woodies, Souths have three key factors on their side:

The Rebels have beaten Eastwood in two of their three clashes this season, and in the third lost by only three points;

They have fought their way into the decider through a nail-biting semi-final against University last weekend, where five-eighth Ben Volavola kicked the winning penalty in the 80th minute. So they know they can handle high pressure footy;

The Rebels will have in their side the formidable player presence of Ireland-bound Wallabies and Waratahs second-rower Kane Douglas.

And in a selection twist, making way in the team for Douglas, whose absence from the Wallabies (who play the All Blacks several hours later at ANZ Stadium) is due to him having signed with Irish slub Leinster, is his brother Jake.

''Kane brings real leadership to the side and experience of the big games, having played the entire Super Rugby finals series with the Waratahs,'' said Souths captain and No.8 Jed Holloway.

Recalling last weekend's semi-final against Sydney University, Holloway admitted it was a nervous, albeit thrilling, finale.

''I was getting a bit anxious towards the end of the game,'' he said. ''We knew at half-time that Uni would come back into it ... 

''But as soon as Ben pointed to the posts, his confidence in his own ability gave me confidence. He didn’t second-guess himself. Watching it sail over was such a good feeling.''

Taking note was Eastwood captain  Hugh Perrett, whose side made the grand final by beating minor premiers Manly. He and Eastwood will understandably not underestimate Souths.

''Jed is so influential for them and if he plays well the whole team plays well,'' Perrett said.

''Ben Volavola leads a backline that is full of speed and class, and last week he showed how dangerous he can be with the boot. 

''We know we can’t give away any penalties in our own half. We’ll just have to make sure that the game is played in their half and not ours.''

Concord Oval will host all four grade grand finals, with kick-off times as follows: 9.05am, Henderson Cup (fourth grade), Eastwood v Sydney University; 10.50am, Henderson Shield (third grade), Sydney University v Warringah; 12.50pm, Colin Caird Shield (second grade), Sydney University v Manly; 3pm, Magners Shute Shield (first grade), Eastwood v Southern Districts.


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HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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