Representative halfback Tommy Sawden returned from injury as Vikings produced an impressive win over Camden on Saturday.
Sawden broke his ankle in last year’s grand final loss to Avondale and has only picked up a footy again with a handful of minutes for the Illawarriors this year.
He gained the all clear to start at Vikings Oval and played a steady hand in the 38-10 win.
Centre Andrew Barrett and powerful No.8 Liam Antrobus scored two tries each, while fullback Jason Reid and winger Kyle Gasser also finished on the scoresheet. Coach Sean Barrett, who was at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to watch the Rugby Sevens finals, said Sawden’s was a welcome return.
“We’ve made sure he’s had a steady rehab, we certainly didn’t want to rush him back for the start of the season,” Barrett said.
“It’s been a long off-season for him, but he’s been steadily building it up and being hurt in the grand final.
“So he’s done a bit of work with the rep trials, which has been good for him coming back, it’s great to see him back.”
Vikings join Bowral and Shoalies as the remaining unbeaten Illawarra rugby teams after two rounds.
It’s great to see him backSean Barrett
Shoalhaven outlasted Uni in a 27-25 thriller, despite an impressive two-try effort from the Mallee Bulls captain and lock William Wood.
The win comes after beating Campbelltown 22-19 in another nailbiter.
Bowral produced a powerful second half effort to win 27-5 after leading 7-5 at the break.
Meanwhile, Tech Waratahs have continued their Illawarra rugby revival with a 35-6 win over Kiama.
After a few difficult seasons for the club, Tech-Tahs played with three grades at home for the first time in several years and celebrated with a 17-nil second half effort in the first grade to seal victory.
In the other game, premiers Avondale defeated Campbelltown 45-22.