Holloway has chance at Shute Shield with Southern Districts
HISTORY just about repeated itself for Yamba product Jed Holloway and his Southern Districts Rebels on Sunday.
Jordan McGregor kicked a long range penalty goal after the bell to defeat Sydney University 28-26 in the Shute Shield semi-finals to book a date with last year's grand final opponents Eastwood.
In 2014 Fijian international Ben Volavola slotted the winner from a similar position against the Students. The only difference is this time it came a week earlier and the Rebels versus Woodies showdown will be for a place in the decider instead.
"We like a tight one against the uni," Holloway said.
"It was a really good win in our first ever home semi-final at Forshaw Park. We started slow and in the second half the crowd got behind us and we got some momentum.
"Eastwood are very similar to us, they play an expansive game and I'm sure they've got a few tricks up their sleeve.
"It's a grand final rematch, just not quite the grand final this time."
The side's captain at number eight, Holloway heads a strong Far North Coast flavour at the club. Last weekend's two-try hero Alex Gibbon hails from Alstonville while Yamba's Jake Douglas made a huge impact off the bench with one of the biggest hits in the game.
"Jake was really dynamic and put on the biggest hit of the game as soon as he came on," Holloway said.
"It's good to have that trust in the bench to come on and really finish the job, which they did on the weekend.
"It's good to see a lot of country boys from Far North Coast coming down here searching for greener pastures. It's bringing a good culture and a good attitude to the club."
Conor Young is another former Yamba Buccaneer who was captain of 1st Grade Colts and earlier this year represented Canada at the World Under-20s Trophy in Portugal.
"Unfortuantely Conor tore his knee miniscus in their last game but he had quite a good year and is a really good club man for Southern Districts."
At just 22, Holloway is the natural leader at Southern Districts. He was part of the extended NSW Waratahs bench at the start of the Super Rugby season but tore his hamstring in round six against Sydney University and missed eight weeks of rugby.
On the verge of bigger things, he is yet to make his Super Rugby debut but after re-signing for the Waratahs for another two years his career looks set to finally break through to the next level in 2016.
"It's tough when you have world class players like Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Dave Dennis and Stephen Hoiles in front of you," he said.
"But with Palu and Hoiles leaving next year it gives me an opportunity if I'm ready to take it."
The Southern Districts match against Eastwood at 2.40pm on Sunday at TG Milner Field and the other semi-final between Manly and Sydney Uni at 2.40pm on Saturday will both be televised on 7TWO.