Edmed walking in father’s footsteps and eyeing off Shute Shield grand final glory

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Eastwood No.10 Tane Edmed is the Waratahs' newest signing and the son of a Balmain Tigers legend. On Saturday he's looking to write his own chapter on hallowed turf of Leichhardt Oval where his old man once ran around in the Shute Shield final against Gordon.

Lining up alongside Edmed in the Woodies' quest for Shute Shield glory is Mark Nawaqanitawase, who was also coached by 157-game Tigers great Steve Edmed during the duo's younger rugby league days for the Leichhardt Wanderers.

Eastwood No.10 Tane Edmed has signed a new two-year deal with the Waratahs ahead of Saturday’s Shute Shield final against Gordon. Credit:Rhett Wyman

Eastwood will be looking to win their first title since 2015 against a Gordon side aiming to break a 22-year drought after claiming the minor premiership this year.

Edmed booted all of his side’s points in a 12-9 semi-final win over Norths at the weekend and with wet weather forecast, he will need to be sharp off the tee once again.

The 20-year-old could have been lost to rugby league though. He played SG Ball for the Tigers and was signed to play under-20s there before Rugby Australia offered Edmed a contract at the end of 2018 to go between sevens and XVs.

He'd been on the radar for a number of years in NSW circles, particularly after booting a 42-metre penalty goal on the hooter in 2018 to give Trinity Grammar First XV their first win (22-19) against St Joseph's College since 1987.

Tane Edmed playing for Eastwood and father Steve Edmed playing for Balmain in the NSWRL grand final in 1989. Credit:Karen Watson, Fairfax Archive

Edmed has now put pen to paper on a two-year deal upgrade as part of the wider Waratahs training squad and is reaping the benefits of greater exposure after leaving Randwick at the start of this year for greater opportunities at Eastwood.

"I originally got offered a deal before COVID happened and I had to wait around obviously which was a little bit tough but to sign is great," Edmed said. "The Waratahs have been so good to me the last two years. I loved Randwick but it was purely opportunity based the move to play a bit more Shute Shield and my goal was to play as much as I could."

Edmed Snr will certainly be there in the stands at Leichhardt Oval watching on.

"It'll be a proud moment for him back at Leichhardt Oval where he played all his footy in the '80s and '90s," Edmed said. "He's got a very strong connection to the ground. He did lose two finals for Balmain, so hopefully we don't do the same thing and can get a win for him at Leichhardt.

"It's pretty weird to go around full circle and end up back at Leichhardt after the journey. Even Marky [Nawaqanitawase] and I played together at the Leichhardt Wanderers and played in a couple of finals together there."

Eastwood are happy going into the match as underdogs after finishing fifth in the regular season before finals wins against Easts and Norths.

"To be honest, most of the pressure is on them," Edmed said. "We're underdogs and have been underdogs for all of the finals. I think their set-piece is very strong, so if we can keep them out of good field position we can go a long way."

Nawaqanitawase added: "I really think Eastwood is a bit underrated in terms of these finals. Not many people thought we had what it took to get to the grand final and win the Shute Shield. There have been some tough grinds but some games we've shown what we can really do. Going into this game we're confident and we have belief we can do it."

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