Eastwood Rugby to set up new home in Castle Hill


Eastwood Rugby will start a fresh chapter in the club’s history by moving away from TG Millner Field and setting up a new home 20 kilometres away in Castle Hill.

The Hills Shire Council gave the green light on Tuesday evening for a plan to upgrade the Fred Caterson Reserve in Castle Hill into a multi-sport precinct featuring an elite rugby complex and academy.

Eastwood No.10 Tane Edmed kicks for touch during a Shute Shield match this year.

Eastwood No.10 Tane Edmed kicks for touch during a Shute Shield match this year.

It will serve as Eastwood’s new training and playing base, with the club also looking to recruit the cream of the local talent.

The complex, which already boasts soccer, cricket, baseball, tennis and basketball facilities, will have three full-size rugby fields, one of which will be synthetic. Eastwood will play their home games there, likely from 2022.



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French court rules against Clint Eastwood testifying in train attack trial



FILE PHOTO: Director Clint Eastwood attends the AFI 2019 Awards luncheon in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 3, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

November 18, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has ruled that Clint Eastwood cannot testify during the trial of a suspected Islamist gunman, whose attack on a high-speed train was thwarted by three Americans, who later played themselves in a movie by the U.S. actor and director.

The trial of Moroccan national Ayoub el Khazzani, who opened fire aboard a Thalys train traveling through Northern Europe in August, 2015, started on Monday in Paris.

Khazzani’s lawyer had asked before the trial began that the court call Eastwood as a witness, claiming that he could “shed some light” on the authenticity of scenes depicted in his movie.

Eastwood’s movie is based on a book written by the trio entitled “The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes”.

Khazzani told investigators before the trial he decided against the attack at the last second but that it was too late to avoid the confrontation with passengers, a judicial source has said.

The movie however does not show this claimed change of heart. The defence lawyer feared the film could influence people’s view of the attack. She wanted to question Eastwood on what instructions he had given as a director to the actors.

Anti-terrorism prosecutors opposed the lawyer’s request. They said Eastwood had not witnessed the incident and that it made no sense to call on a 90-year-old in the midst of a pandemic. They accused the defense of seeking to “to create a buzz”.

The judge refused the request, arguing that Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, the young Americans who immobilised Khazzani before anyone was killed, would testify on Thursday and Friday.

The three men were awarded a medal of honor by then French president Francois Hollande, along with Mark Moogalian, a French-American professor who was shot in the back by Khazzani with a handgun after snatching his Kalashnikov rifle.

Moogalian, who is now 56, will also appear as a witness on Thursday.

(Reporting by Tangi Salaün; Editing by Richard Lough and Alexandra Hudson)





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Gordon snap 22 year drought to beat Eastwood 28-8


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“We tried to needle it in there but when they said the half time break wasn’t going to be 12 minutes – they cut it down to seven because of the [social distancing] stoppage earlier – we didn’t get a chance to get the needle in,” Gordon coach Darren Coleman said.

“That’s why we were losing some of those scrums. He couldn’t hold on. He came out and his first three throws after the break were all crooked. He couldn’t hold the ball in his left hand. He will have some pins put in it.

“He’s just the toughest kid I’ve ever met.”

In Coleman’s eyes, Vailanu’s toughness and an incredible stint of goal line scrummaging won Gordon the match.

“We’ve had a word since our first camp – to be resilient. That’s what we were today. We were great,” he said.

Stellar performances from Wallabies No.8 Jack Dempsey, flyhalf Rod Iona and fullback Reece Macdonald – as well as a dominant forward pack – ensured the majority of fans at Leichhardt Oval were sent home happy.

Gordon’s Jack Dempsey.Credit:Karen Watson

Eastwood lock Lachlan Anstee scored the first try of the afternoon when his former Australian Sevens teammate spilled a Matt Gonzalez box kick but the first half was otherwise one way traffic.

A trio of Iona penalties gave Gordon a healthy 9-5 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half.

When Eastwood flyhalf Tane Edmed grubbered a dreadful kick in behind Gordon’s line rather than try to clear his own half, Woodies were punished.

Quinn took the opportunity to run at some tired Eastwood bodies, beat two tackles and found Macdonald to score a try which gave Gordon a 14-5 half-time lead.

Eastwood's Tane Edmed looks to bust through Dordon's line.

Eastwood’s Tane Edmed looks to bust through Dordon’s line.Credit:Karen Watson

At that point, Eastwood weren’t in the contest. Their forwards were making no indent on Gordon’s defensive line and if it wasn’t for some well earned penalties at the defensive breakdown, the Stags would have been further in front at the break.

However, Eastwood lifted in the second half. Edmed slotted a simple penalty shot moments after missing a tougher shot from 40 metres out and only an incredible Macdonald tackle on Pat Sio stopped Edmed from having a shot from the sideline to put his side in front with 20 minutes to play.

Three scrum penalties later, Gordon’s John Tagaloa was sent to the sin bin, Eastwood had all the momentum and a one man advantage.

But Gordon’s forwards somehow regrouped, won a penalty to clear their half three scrum resets later and Iona split the line to score the sealer.

The Gordon contingent on the Wayne Pearce Hill – who had exchanged some choice words with Eastwood fans in the few minutes prior – were raucous. For the first time in 22 years.

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Eastwood to face Gordon in final


Norths No.10 Angus Sinclair had a chance to seal the game in regulation time with a tricky penalty in windy conditions but it sailed a little right.

In a tryless game dominated by forwards, both teams had to watch their discipline and ultimately it was Eastwood who prevailed thanks to a couple of three-pointers from Tane Edmed when it mattered most.

Sunday's semi-final went down to the wire.

Sunday’s semi-final went down to the wire. Credit:Karen Watson

Had scores been tied at the end of 100 minutes, Norths would have progressed given they finished higher on the ladder. Sinclair, with a final kick, didn’t have the distance as the Woodies celebrated qualifying for their first final in five years.

“I probably knew I didn’t have the legs for the last one into the wind but I thought it was worth a shot. Unfortunately didn’t get it,” Sinclair told Channel Seven.

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“It was a tough old game of rugby and one for the purists but credit to Eastwood they probably just played a bit smarter. It could have gone either way. We had our chances, they had theirs and they took them.”

Edmed added: “I’m the kicker but those boys put in the hard yards the whole game and I’m just the bloke who knocks them over. The pressure was pretty hard.

“We really wanted to make that grand final and come up against a tough Norths team. I think a lot of people counted us out going into the finals series and these boys have the biggest hearts.”

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Gordon beat Eastwood to be crowned minor premiers


Gordon survived a late scare against Eastwood to head into the Shute Shield finals on a three-game winning streak and seal the minor premiership.

Before the final round of the competition, Gordon had a six-point ladder lead over Northern Suburbs yet were tested by Eastwood, who began the round in third, in a 29-24 win at TG Millner Field.

Gordon's Jack Dempsey is tackled by Pat Sio of Eastwood.

Gordon’s Jack Dempsey is tackled by Pat Sio of Eastwood. Credit:Karen Watson

Gordon came out of the blocks strongly with three quick tries to make it 19-0, with Jack Dempsey scoring the third five-pointer.

As much as Dempsey, a member of Australia’s World Cup squad last year, would love to be in New Zealand right now with the Wallabies, he dug deep for Gordon and will be a hugely influential figure going into the finals.



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Eastwood hold out Randwick in Coogee Oval thriller


The fizz of early spring was in the air at Coogee Oval and both sides were feeling the new-season energy, producing a furious and physical eight-try first half. Eastwood controlled proceedings early and converted it to first points with a driving maul try to openside breakaway Tom Murphy, opening with a 5-0 lead after five-eighth Tane Edmed missed the conversion.

Randwick hit back with two tries in two minutes to Australian Sevens representatives Dylan Pietsch and Simon Kennewell, making it 12-5 in the 12th minute.

Eastwood's Enoka Muliufi charges into the Randwick defence on Saturday.

Eastwood’s Enoka Muliufi charges into the Randwick defence on Saturday.Credit:Karen Watson

Kennewell was sin-binned shortly after for offside offences and Eastwood didn’t waste the overlap, scoring twice to claim back a 19-12 lead. Waratahs winger Mark Nawaqanitawase scored in the 18th and fullback Chris Bell bagged his first, Edmed slotting both conversions.

Randwick flanker Kyle Harris scored next and Horwitz slotted his second conversion to level the scores at 19-19. Kennewell returned to the field but Randwick lost hooker David Vea next after a late hit.

Despite another 10 minutes with just 14 players the home side managed to score the try of the match, a superb cross-field kick delivering them the lead again in the 32nd minute.

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Inside centre Kristian Jensen booted the ball from the ‘Wicks’ 22m line into the hands of Brooklyn Hardaker who caught it on the run on halfway in a sideline-to-sideline manoeuvre that would have looked at home in the Super Rugby match across town later on Saturday. Hardaker had the speed to hold out his chasers and scored to extend the home side’s lead to 24-19.

Eastwood had the final say in the half, however, with Nawaqanitawase scoring his second to level the scores. Edmed added the extras to give the Woodies a slender lead into the break.

Play tightened up in the second half with both sides trading penalty goal attempts for the first 15 minutes. Eastwood made it 36-24 with a converted try before Pietsch scored his second to make it 36-29.

Things slowed up until Eastwood centre Devan Stoltz scored in the 68th minute, opening up a 14-point lead after Edmed’s conversion.

Randwick closed the gap to 43-34 but looked certain to fall short until Eastwood lost Charles Granger to the sin bin with three minutes left on the clock.

The ‘Wicks almost pulled off the upset when Hardaker scored his second try in the 80th minute and Horwitz converted with a drop goal to get the home side within two points of the competition leaders. Eastwood showed their class to hold out their hosts.

Round 7 results:
Randwick 41 v 43 Eastwood
Warringah 38 v 39 Southern Districts
Norths 40 v 26 Two Blues
West Harbour 12 v 24 Gordon
Penrith 22 v 64 Manly
Hunter 21 v 31 Eastern Suburbs
(Sydney Uni bye)

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