After a dominant opening two months of the Charter Hall Shute Shield season, consecutive losses to Easts and Warringah have seen the Shoremen slide back towards the remainder of the top six.
Norths currently retain second position after ten rounds, trailing the undefeated and imposing Sydney Uni outfit by 6-points.
Their most recent loss, a 20-18 defeat to the Rats in wet and blustery conditions, was conceded after both Harry Burey and Angus Sinclair were lost to concussion early in the contest, leaving Head Coach Zak Beer with a retained confidence in their form heading into the run to Finals.
“Nobody wins anything in June,” he said.
“Losing both Harry and Angus was tough last Saturday; they have such an understanding and maturity in those pivotal roles.
“But we’re enjoying the journey and looking forward to our next challenge this weekend.”
Norths will travel to Coogee Oval this Saturday to face a Randwick side seeking desperately to keep contact with the top six.
The Galloping Greens currently sit in seventh position on the competition ladder, with only a victory separating themselves and Eastwood in fourth.
But Randwick have been disappointing at home this season, securing only one win from their four matches at Coogee Oval so far in 2021.
However, a 54-5 thumping of the Two Blues in Round Ten would’ve restored some try scoring confidence, highlighting the damaging attacking talent at Randwick’s disposal.
For Zak Beer, the contest against Randwick allows his side to show their constant evolution as a team.
“As soon as you become reactive to a result you lose focus on what is most important; the process,” he said.
“I think you have to be constantly evolving as a playing unit and as coaching staff to succeed in this competition.
“The boys really enjoy it, we come to them with fresh ideas and it allows them to examine the game at a deeper level.
“If we stand still as a team, we allow others to pass us.”
Beer’s steely focus and resolute positivity will no doubt help guide his Shoremen through what is a gruelling month of Shute Shield rugby.
Between Rounds Nine and Thirteen, Norths have or will face Clubs that have spent a large portion of 2021 within the top six, culminated by a date with the Students in Round Thirteen.
But for Beer, this notable run of fixtures is just another necessary obstacle in a challenging season.
“If we view each team with a different intensity or mindset, we may drop the ball,” he admits.
“Viewing each Club as equal in stature will allow no complacency into our style of play.
“We don’t want to be overawed by the title of the game, whether it’s a derby, an Elimination Final or a Grand Final.
“We just face each round as a new challenge and that continues this Saturday.”
1. Dec Leaney
2. David Vea
3. Chris Eves
4. Tom Pirrodi
5. Alex Hills
6. Ben Houston
7. Joel Ellis
8. Jamie Rickward
9. Mitch Short
10. Ben Starkey
11. Jackson Mohi
12. Kristian Jensen
13. Dan O'Brien
14. Christian Yassmin
15. Zac Carr
1. Jack Brewer
2. James Margan
3. Apolosi Ranawai
4. Dave Henaway
5. Jack Whetton
6. Brad Hemopo
7. Gary Bautz
8. Heinrich Brendel
9. Nick Duffy
10. Max Burey
11. Harry Cudmore
12. Tauteau Taufa
13. Reece Mau'u
14. Seb Cameron
15. Connor Winchester
Randwick host Norths this Saturday at Coogee Oval – 3pm.
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