Grand Final re-match gives Tooheys New Cup a kick start
May 31, 2006

The clash between 2005 champion Sydney University and its Shute Shield-winning nemesis Eastwood headlines week one of the 2006 Tooheys New Cup, which kicks off at 3pm this Saturday.

The TG Millner Field rematch is just one of what looks on paper to be an extremely even set of opening round matches to be played at venues across Sydney.

Kickoff 3.10pm Saturday

Broadcast LIVE on ABC TV from 3pm

The resumption of hostilities between Eastwood and Sydney University represents a dream start to the 2006 Tooheys New Cup, last week's Shute Shield Finalists heading back to TG Millner Field to do it all again.

Eastwood will no doubt be looking to use last week's come from behind 17-10 victory as motivation, while for the Students this match is a chance to restore some pride after they allowed themselves to be overrun at the death in that match.

Eastwood will be without a significant number of players, fielding two new props, one new lock, a new centre and a new fullback due to injury and Waratah commitments.

David Goulter and James Atwill replace Matt Dunning and Aaron Broughton-Rouse in the front row while James Keith comes in for Ben Hand at lock, the trio all set to start Friday night's Waratah clash against the New Zealand Maori.

On the injury front, last week's winning try scorer Chris Donnelly replaces Winston Mafi at 13 and Shane Collins comes in for Ben Batger at the back.

France-bound Tim Donnelly has been named at flyhalf alongside new recruit Ben Wakely, who will again start at half after scoring the first try in last week's victory.

Sydney University appears more settled with Wallaby and Brumby lock Al Campbell included in the Uni line up for the first time this season.

Campbell will be looking to impress after missing selection in John Connolly's 33-man national squad this week.

The Students will also have Waratah bench players Tom Carter and Tom Egan backing up at outside centre and lock respectively following Friday night's fixture, while David Foran is expected to be the man to replace the injured David Haigh at openside flanker.

Saturday's match of the round is due to kick off at 3.10pm, with live coverage around NSW & the ACT on ABC TV.

Eastwood: 1. David Goulter 2. Chris Hill 3. James Atwill 4. Anthony Reed 5. James Keith 6. Hugh Perrett 7. Will Brame 8. Gareth Palamo 9. Ben Wakely 10. Tim Donnelly 11. Filipo Toala 12. Tim Corcoran 13. Chris Donnelly 14. Sione Piukala 15. Shane Collins BENCH: 16. Will Scott 17. David Mason 18. Shane Udy 19. Pat Shanahan 20. Paul Bellantonio 21. Michael Daff 22. Tim Harrington

Sydney University (Expected): 1. Josh Hately 2. Digby Beaumont 3. Laurie Weeks 4. Tom Egan 5. Al Campbell 6. Lachlan McCutcheon 7. David Foran 8. Pat McCutcheon 9. Nick Haydon 10. Dan Kelly Junior 11. Michael Griffin 12. Jack Farrar 13. Tom Carter 14. Nathan Trist 15. Nigel Staniforth BENCH: TBC

Kickoff 3pm Saturday

West Harbour welcomes back Salesi Ma'afu for its clash with Parramatta at Two Blues Park, the hard working prop spending the first half this year in the Brumbies Super 14 program.

Ma'afu's combination with front row partners Matthias Skillecorn and Alisi Leao will be vital as the Pirates look to blunt a Two Blues front row that will be boosted by the inclusion of Waratah Academy prop Steve Taylor.

In addition to Taylor's return, 2005 captain Todd Thocolich will play his first match back from a six week suspension in second grade on Saturday.

First Grade coach Gary Ella has flagged his intention to use the big loose head at some stage during the main game, naming him in jersey number 22 in his Tooheys New Cup squad.

Parramatta: 1. Dave Coventry 2. Hemi Iosefa 3. Steve Taylor 4. Andrew Brown 5. Nick Rees 6. Junior To'o 7. Winnie Paulo 8. Pelea Afu 9. Steve Bortolussi 10. Josh Weeks 11. Naibuka Tuiloa 12. Inoke Turuva 13. Simon Murphy 14. Mohd Roche 15. Ben Borg BENCH: 16. Luke Tabutoa 17. John Valele 18. Semi Kolikata 19. Fa Maka 20. Sam Wykes 21. Tobias Gukibau 22. Todd Thocolich

West Harbour: 1. Salesi Ma'afu 2. Alisi Leao 3. Matthias Skillecorn 4. Chris Slack 5. Luke Hanvey 6. Puni Lio 7. Mark Howell 8. Fotu Auelua 9. Dave Rimmer 10. Josh Keil 11. Ben Cook 12. Viliami Fililava 13. Khan Taylor 14. Richie O'Connor 15. Nick Reilly BENCH: 16. Ben Morson 17. Todd Pearce 18. Sione Ate Vea 19. Shane McLeod 20. Brad O'Young 21. Lewis Farrar 22. Steve Griffiths

GORDON v WARRINGAH at Chatswood Oval
Kickoff 3pm Saturday

The start of the Tooheys New Cup sees Warringah enjoy the full time services of 2005 Shute Shield winning captain Cameron Treloar for the first time this season.

Treloar, who was restricted to a cameo appearance during the Shute Shield due to being a part of the Reds Super 14 campaign, is back at lock for the Rats opening trek to Gordon.

Sean Moloney will partner Treloar in the second row, while lineout specialist Nifo Nifo shifts from lock to number eight.

Gordon's line up is not that dissimilar to that which disposed of the Central Coast 55-23 in the final round of the Shute Shield.

Tom Games replaces Dave Plunkett at lock, while Josh Gamgee's departure with the Australian Sevens team has resulted in a backline reshuffle that sees Mark Preston shift from fullback to outside centre, Darren Firmin from wing to fullback, and Keiran Lewis come into the side in the 14 jumper.

Gordon (Expected): 1. Ofa Fainga'anuku 2. Alex Gluth 3. Mike Schmidt 4. Zane Kader 5. Tom Games 6. Richard Penisini 7. Jeremy Mortlock 8. Viliami Napa'a 9. Sikuti Vunipola 10. David Harvey 11. Varayane Rainima 12. Jone Kagi 13. Mark Preston 14. Kieren Lewis 15. Darren Firmin BENCH: TBC

Warringah: 1. Tim Jones 2. Joe Bonner 3. John Adams 4. Cameron Treloar 5. Sean Maloney 6. Scott Fardy 7. Paul Macgugan 8. Nifo Nifo 9. Shane Warman 10. Michael Ruthven 11. Shane Laloata 12. Clint Eadie 13. Francis Cullimore 14. Kaine Bayfield 15. Peter Owens BENCH: 16. Kieran Cooney 17. Dan Sivertsen 18. Craig Thomas 19. Eric Baica 20. Layne Kelleher 21. Michael Hamilton 22. David Willan

Kickoff 3pm Saturday

Southern Districts will be out to kick off the Tooheys New Cup in the same fashion as it finished the Shute Shield when it plays host to Randwick at Forshaw Rugby Park on Saturday.

The Rebels - who were all but out of contention for the semifinals - defeated Sydney University in the second last round of the Shute Shield before backing that performance up with a draw against eventual champions Eastwood a week later.

On that day, they outscored the highly respected Eastwood attack five tries to two, with winger Jarrad Anderson scoring three for the Rebels.

Coach Geoff Townsend has retained the bulk of his backline from that match with the only changes coming at scrumhalf, with Craig Fevre starting ahead of Craig Gray, and fullback, where former West Harbour flyer Junior Puroku has come in for Michael Black.

In the forwards, 2006 Brumbies debutant James McCormack plays his comeback match in Southern Districts colours beside new prop Malaga Leota, while lock Tim Copper has been included at the expense of Michael Kauter.

Randwick will start Brumbies backup scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs after the number nine made a successful comeback to club Rugby against Sydney University in the Shute Shield semifinals a fortnight ago. He replaces Vinnie Byrne.

In other changes, Prop Daniel Spencer comes into the starting line up for Dayna Edwards; Pat Delohery will start at openside in place of Sam Ratabua; and Matui Mailie comes onto the wing for Paul Hannify.

Southern Districts: 1. Steve Harkin 2. James McCormack 3. Malaga Leota 4. Tim Copper 5. Brett Rusk 6. Mark Fisher 7. Terry Autavagaia 8. Andrew Maloney 9. Craig Fevre 10. Andy Dallalana 11. Andrew Barrett 12. Greg Robson 13. Jye Mullane 14. Jared Anderson 15. Junior Puroku BENCH: 16. Sam Iuta 17. Pat Fa'aafili 18. Reg De Jager 19. Michael Kauter 20. Craig Gray 21. Jackson Mullane 22. Alan Sheldon

Randwick (Expected): 1. Sean Baker 2. Antonio Halangahu 3. Daniel Spencer 4. Tim Maxwell 5. Scott Flint 6. Shawn Mackay 7. Patrick Delohery 8. Chris Houston 9. Patrick Phibbs 10. Mark Sweeney 11. Matui Mailie 12. Trent Eastgate 13. Matt Carraro 14. Patrick Mekuri 15. Tim Wright BENCH: TBC

Kickoff 3pm Saturday

Eastern Suburbs coach Scott Bowen and his Northern Suburbs counterpart Darren Coleman could be excused for giving their players a refresher in Rugby this week, both teams having been out of action since May 6 after final round byes in the Shute Shield.

On that day, the Beasts scored a 23-15 win over West Harbour while Norths were on the end of a 50 to 8 hammering from Eastwood.

Bowen has made a number of changes for this match, with Daniel Lawson's return at flyhalf and David Kehoe's inclusion at fullback being two of the more crucial.

Angus Esslemont shifts to outside centre for Lawson, who was on loan to the Illawarriors during the Shute Shield, while Kehoe replaces Australian Under 21 Lloyd Jones at the back.

Norths starting fifteen is yet to be decided.

Eastern Suburbs: 1. Rhys Ward 2. Dan Aaron 3. Aaron Tawera 4. Michael Vlismas 5. Matt McGann 6. Ed Brenac 7. Chris Coe 8. Chris Aho 9. Luke Burgess 10. Daniel Lawson 11. Tom Freeman 12. Trevor Byles 13. Angus Esslemont 14. Karel Bos 15. Dave Kehoe BENCH 16. Sam Zlatevski

17. Mike Ross 18. Dylan Sigg 19. Morgan Sigg 20. Tim Usasz 21. Nathan Lowe 22. Phil Smith

Northern Suburbs (From): 1. Nick Lah 2. Al Manning/Oscar Oberg 3. Troy Takiari/John Nichols 4. Mark O'Brien 5. Mike Burak/Chris Thomson 6. Will Hunt 7. Beau Robinson 8. Jason Peseta 9. Steve Evans/John McGrath 10. Chris Burnett 11. Dan Watson-Wood/David Bond 12. Al Gillet/Chris Moore 13. Al McDonald 14. James Lew/Jordon Macey 15. Robbie Miller BENCH: TBC

PENRITH v MANLY at Nepean Rugby Park
Kickoff 3pm Saturday

Penrith welcomes back damaging inside centre Bernard Orbell for Saturday's opener against a Waratah-less Manly at Nepean Rugby Park.

Orbell was one of the Emus best during the 2005 TNC and his presence will be a welcome boost for the foot of the mountains club heading into this clash.

The Marlins head into the match without fullback Peter Hewat, centre Chris Siale, flanker James Campbell and hooker Josh Mann-Rae, all of whom are part of the Waratah side to play the Maori on Friday night.

Their replacements are Seru Rogo (fullback); Luke Johnson (outside centre); Andrew Davis (openside flanker); and Damien Cummins (hooker).

Johnson and Davis were both part of the team that lost to Illawarra in the final round of the Shute Shield, with Johnson shifting from the wing to the centre and Davis from the blind to the openside position.

Jono Wheaton (wing) and John Carberry (blindside) are the new faces.

Penrith (Expected): 1. Adam Parbery 2. Sam Taiseni 3. Nick Barber 4. Lai Vatadroka 5. Mosese Makasini 6. Shem Evans 7. Luke Williams 8. Henry Schaff 9. Luke Starr 10. Willie Gibbons 11. Nick Richardson 12. Bernard Orbell 13. Siaa Tauveuveu 14. Walter Seupule 15. Iain Cowan BENCH: TBC

Manly (Expected): 1. Eddie Aholelei 2. Damien Cummins 3. James Lakepa 4. Adam Smith 5. Bruce Raque 6. John Carberry 7. Andrew Davis 8. Marlon Solofuti 9. Chris Cottee 10. David Collis 11. Lupeni Siale 12. Anthony Barrett 13. Luke Johnson 14. Jono Wheaton 15. Seru Rogo BENCH: TBC

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