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Hawks looking to fly high in first week of finals

Ryde-Eastwood Hawks are playing in both the Sydney Shield and Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup finals this weekend but celebrations could be short.

The Hawks are in Elimination Finals for both grades, when Week One of finals kicks off at St Marys Leagues Stadium on Sunday (13 August).

“Our players are well aware of the situation but as a club we are very proud of the fact this is the first year, since we’ve been back in Massey, that we’ve been in both finals,” Hawks Football Manager Mick Frain told

“So we’re not about to put any further pressure on our players. The club is extremely happy with results so far but of course we’d like more.”

The Hawks were Sydney Shield Premiers in 2019 and returned to Ron Massey Cup three years ago.

They finished fifth in 2023 Sydney Shield competition and meet fourth-placed Cabramatta on Sunday.

In Ron Massey Cup the Hawks finished fourth and take on fifth-placed Hills Bulls – the defending 2022 Premiers – in the other Elimination final.

The full schedule of Week One finals appears below with all four games being live-streamed on NSWRL TV.

Hills Bulls star Brad Keighran. Photo: Bryden Sharp
Hills Bulls star Brad Keighran. Photo: Bryden Sharp

For Ryde-Eastwood they drew with Cabramatta 38-38 in Round Seven and enjoyed a healthy 40-28 win in Round 16.

“That gives us a little confidence but it’s an Elimination final so Cabramatta will be on their toes and ready to fire just like us,” Frain.

“And against the Bulls they gave us a touch-up last time (Round 17, 44-8) so that’s fresh in our minds. Their goalkicker Brad Keighran was on fire too (seven from seven). He’s a very good footballer.”

The Hawks second rower Tyler Cassel is captain this year, with the added bonus of being a Hills Bulls player when they won Ron Massey Cup last year.

“So he’s obviously very important to us both for his skills and his knowledge on the Bulls.”

The Hawks lost their final four club rounds heading into Ron Massey Cup finals.

“We had really good depth earlier in the season but too many injuries caught up with us a bit,” Frain said, although Bruce Ward and Adam Rizk will return this weekend.

Hawks’ Sydney Shield captain is front rower Ryan Joynes, who has played a handful of Ron Massey Cup games as well, when the injury list started to bite.

“He’s been leading from the front for us all year in both competitions,” Frain said.

Ryde-Eastwood Hawks' Adam Rizk. Photo: Bryden Sharp
Ryde-Eastwood Hawks' Adam Rizk. Photo: Bryden Sharp

The full NSWRL TV schedule (all games at St Marys Leagues Stadium) is:

Sunday 13 August

Sydney Shield – Finals Week One

Elimination final: Cabramatta (4th) v Ryde-Eastwood Hawks (5th) 11am

Qualifying final: Penrith Brothers (2nd) v Hills Bulls (3rd) 3pm

Leagues Clubs Australia Ron Massey Cup – Finals Week One

Elimination final: Ryde-Eastwood Hawks (4th) v Hills Bulls (5th) 1pm

Qualifying final: Glebe Dirty Reds (2nd) v Wentworthville Magpies (3rd) 5pm  

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