A dominant display from warrior backrower Sam Shires inspired Eastern Suburbs to a 36-10 win over West Harbour in the Shute Shield match of the day at Woollahra Oval on Saturday.
After missing the final 10 games last season with a broken foot, Shires was making up for lost time and was a stand out in the trench warfare against the big Wests pack.
The late start to the season due to the coronavirus pandemic gave Shires the chance to be really ready to go.
Super Rugby returns! Watch every game of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Easts’ Vunipola Fifita charges through the West Harbour defence. Picture: Karen WatsonSource:Supplied
Hooper bombshell: ‘Aussie way’ of rugby has had its day
“The two or three months helped me in a way to get back to where I wanted to be,” Shires said.
Easts coach Pauli Taumeopeau said Shires was fantastic against Wests.
“He’s just a worker, he turns up every week and you can bet on that,” he said.
Easts halfback and skipper Jack Grant marshaled his troops in fine fashion.
While it was a big improvement on Easts first round 35-24 loss to Gordon, Taumeopeau was not happy with the way his side finished the game.
“We have to change mentally towards the end,” he said.
“We just need to be tighter in that area.”
Wests got off to the worst start when they lost star recruit and Australian Sevens flyer “Rocket” Rod Davies after he took a heavy knock with the game just three minutes old.
James Turner looks to get West Harbour moving. Picture: Karen Watson.Source:Supplied
Easts were dominant in a scrappy first 40 minutes and went to the break with a 15-3 lead.
They opened the scoring with a penalty goal by their No.10 Nick Holton after five minutes.
Following a sustained period of pressure from the forwards Easts extended their lead to 10-0 after a try from backrower Charlie Smith after passes from halfback Grant and lock Jeremy Williams.
Then Easts crossed for their second try on the 20-minute mark when Grant took a quick tap from a penalty and a cut out pass saw winger Richard Woolf cross for one of the easiest tries he will ever score.
Holton missed the conversion attempt leaving the home side a comfortable 15-0 lead.
Right on halftime West Harbour finally got on the board with a penalty goal by their No.10 Josh Coward.
Easts had a chance to further extend their lead early in the second half when fullback Daniel Donato made a spectacular break, sent the ball to Williams who again linked up with backrower Smith. But he could not handle the pass and the ball was lost was lost forward.
But they didn’t have to wait long for their third try when Shires dived over after eight minutes and it was converted from a wide angle to extend Easts lead to 22-3.
The pressure goes on in the engine room. Picture: Karen WatsonSource:Supplied
Grant was again involved in Easts fourth try when he sent centre Jordan Jackson-Hope into a gap and over the line.
Penrith went down 53-3 to Northern Suburbs in their Shute Shield return.
Former Manly backrower Brad Hemopo was a standout for Norths while Penrith produced some punishing defence which was showed the influence of their coach John Muggleton.
Randwick defeated Warringah 13-8 in a real arm wrestle despite the Galloping Greens having a player red-carded and Sydney University beat Manly 10-6.
The Hunter Wildfires were beaten 46-11 by Eastwood and Gordon thrashed the Two Blues 64-0.
Southern Districts had the bye.
Originally published asShires inspires as Easts gets back on track
Source: Read Full Article