LEADING THE CHARGE: Jed Holloway is swamped by Southern Districts teammates after last week’s semi-final win over Sydney Uni. PHOTO: Karen Watson
LEADING THE CHARGE: Jed Holloway is swamped by Southern Districts teammates after last week’s semi-final win over Sydney Uni. PHOTO: Karen Watson

Yamba trio one win from Shute Shield history

WHEN Jed Holloway wears the captain's armband in Saturday's Shute Shield grand final, he carries with it decades of club and familial history.

The former Yamba Buccaneer could make history as the first Southern Districts captain to win a Super Rugby title, but first they must overcome Eastwood.

His family name is already engrained in the history of the club, with Jed's dad, Graham, a former Port Hacking player.

Port Hacking merged with St George after the 1988 season (when Port won the first-, second- and fourth-grade titles), and became known as Southern Districts.

They are yet to win a premiership.

"There's nothing I want more," Holloway said.

"Especially with the Waratahs winning and seeing them celebrate has made me and Ben (Volavola) more hungry to win our own."

Much of Southern Districts' success is a result of the effort of the players and coaches who have worked since late last year, but Holloway deserves credit too.

As captain, the 21-year-old has tried to instil a finals-only mentality in his squad, which translated into treating the regular season as "just 18 trial games".

He said when the finals started he had no doubt his troops would fire, and it was that mentality that booked them a grand final spot.

"I never doubted us at all; nobody thought we would be eliminated," Holloway said.

"Duncan Chubb (prop) gave me one of the best compliments after the semi-final. He said it was the best feeling he'd ever had in a team and he's been here for years.

"We still have one more hurdle to go. Eastwood are a good side, and I think it'll come down to whoever wants it more on the day."

Holloway was named a finalist for the Ken Catchpole Medal, which is awarded to the best player of the Shute Shield season.

Holloway is no stranger to winning awards - he was the recipient of the 2012 Shute Shield Rookie of the Year, the same year he played in the 15-14 grand final loss to Sydney Uni.

Southern Districts: 1. Duncan Chubb, 2. Maile Nguamo, 3. Cameron Betham, 4. Andrew Leota, 5. Kane Douglas, 6. Marcus Carbone, 7. Kieran Black, 8. Jed Holloway (c), 9. Chris O'Reilly, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Alex Gibbon, 12. Apo Latunipulu, 13. Paul Asquith, 14. Afa Pakalani, 15. Ben Connelly.

Eastwood: 1. Jed Gillespie, 2. Hugh Roach, 3. Guy Millar, 4. Jared Barry, 5. Andrew Clyne, 6. Michael Kovacic, 7. Hugh Perrett (c), 8. Pat Sio, 9. Mick Snowden, 10. Jai Ayoub, 11. Ben Shorter, 12. Tom Hill, 13. Michael McDougall, 14. Brad Curtis, 15. Ben Batger.



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