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Thursday, 20 September 2012
Page: 11426


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (13:48): I rise with a degree of reluctance following the final of the New South Wales rugby premiership, the Shute Shield, played last weekend. I was pleased to attend, along with my colleague the member for Cook, to cheer on Southern Districts as they put up a strong fight against University, especially after having lost their second rower Kane Douglas, who was called up to play for the Wallabies and received his first test cap against the Pumas.

The Southern Districts Rebels showed great heart, only to have the premiership snatched from them by a single point to their more favoured rivals. And, as the member for Cook noted on Monday, many questions remain over a suspect pass. Nonetheless, as I am bound by contract to the member for North Sydney, I wish to note the high achievement of the Sydney University rugby club in winning the Sydney rugby union premiership for 2012—their seventh title in eight years.

In the time remaining, I would like to express how proud I am of the Southern Districts club. This was a club that was first formed in 1989 and played in its first grand final only this year. It was the merging of my old team, St George, with Port Hacking. What has stood out during that time has been its club spirit. It was absolutely fantastic to see on the weekend the eastern grandstand of Concord Oval full of Southern Districts supporters cheering on their team, who I am sure in years to come will get that title.