Intrust Shute Shield: Six players that can win their side a premiership
As we head into what is expected to be the tightest Intrust Shute Shield finals series in recent years, Rugby News has selected a handful of players that could be the difference for their respective teams.
Angus Roberts – Sydney University
Former Melbourne Rebels fullback Angus Roberts is back playing his best rugby and will play a crucial part in the Students finals campaign as the minor premiers search for their eighth title in 11 years. The Uni backline has strike power all over, but it is Roberts who holds it all together from the back.
Apo Latunipulu – Southern Districts
Southern Districts centre Apo Latunipulu missed last year’s finals and the first half of this season with a knee injury but has returned to his devastating best in recent weeks. The hard running 24-year old will look to get Souths over the advantage line in the finals and will link with Denny Godinet to form a powerful midfield combination.
Will Miller – Northern Suburbs
Will Miller is the heart and soul of the Northern Suburbs side and epitomises what the Shoreman are all about. The hard working, no fuss flanker and his teammates have built their season on defence and head into the finals full of confidence after stealing a last minute victory over Manly in the final round.
Josh Holmes – Warringah
Warringah halfback Josh Holmes has been instrumental in the Rats late season revival. Holmes spent part of the season with the Australian Sevens side but has been brilliant since he returned, helping Warringah finish the year with a five match unbeaten streak. The 29-year old former Super Rugby player can create something from nothing and is the key to Warringah’s finals campaign.
Andrew Deegan – Randwick
Randwick flyhalf Andrew Deegan has been brilliant in 2016 but will need to be at his best in the coming weeks if he is to lead the relatively young Galloping Greens side to their first premiership in 12 years. The 21-year old has shown plenty of poise and maturity beyond his years throughout the season and will be crucial to Randwick’s premiership hopes.
Eastwood – Jared Barry
Eastwood enforcer Jared Barry returned from injury late this season and had an immediate impact, helping the Woodies win their final two matches to scrape into the finals. Although the defending champions will need to do it the hard way after finishing sixth, Barry’s aggression could be what is needed to get them over the line.