Shute Shield: 2015 Season Review – West Harbour

by Paul Cook - With six teams down and six to go, we’ve reached the halfway point of our 2015 season reviews as we prepare for the new Shute Shield competition, which kicks off on March 19th. This time it’s the turn of West Harbour to go under the microscope. With Joe Barakat back at the helm of his beloved Pirates, hopes were high at Concord Oval that the club legend would return to his early coaching roots ready to impart plenty of the knowledge he’d picked up in the intervening 10 years from his stint at the NSW Waratahs, and in Japan. The only trouble was, such was Joe’s reputation that by the time he’d set foot back on familiar ground, he had already been head-hunted for a professional gig with Irish club Ulster, a role he would take up after round 12. As a result, Wests’ season can almost be analysed in two parts – the first two-thirds under Barakat that saw steady progress and a focus on defensive solidity – and the remaining six rounds with assistant coach Ma
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