Round 13 Talking Points

Wed, Jul 10, 2024, 12:58 AM
NSW Rugby
by NSW Rugby

Manly handed Warringah the Rats’ first loss since April 20 this year in an impressive derby upset.

Elsewhere, Randwick, Norths, Sydney Uni, Hunter and Easts claimed wins in round 13.

Derbies do funny things to teams

On form, it was hard to predict anything less than a bonus point win for Warringah in Saturday’s return Northern Beaches derby at Rat Park.

The Rats beat Manly 30-19 earlier this year and hadn’t lost in nine matches while Manly were belted by Gordon just a week earlier.

But derbies are different to any other regular season match and the Marlins sent their fans back to the Steyne with big smiles on their faces after their best performance in well over a month.

Manly face four teams outside of the top six in the coming four weeks and could challenge Warringah for the minor premiership if the Rats drop a few games along the way.

Top six flex their muscles

After Saturday’s results, the top six are nine points clear of the remainder of the competition.

Fifth placed Randwick and sixth placed Norths both have a little more breathing room and are now within striking distance of the top end of the ladder.

It’s hard to predict what is going to happen between now and the first week of the finals, but if things stay as they are at the moment, Warringah and Easts’ reward for finishing in the top two will be first weekend matches against last year’s grand finalists.

Uni send a message

Are the Students still a chance?

They are going to need teams above them on the ladder to drop games over the next five weeks, but after scoring eight tries in a 56-point demolition of Souths last weekend, it’s seems to be too early to write off Sydney Uni just yet.

Reward for Hunter

Not much has gone right for the Wildfires this year which would have made Saturday’s 29-28 win over the Woodies all the sweeter.

Hunter trailed 21-12 and were reduced to 14-men with 60 minutes on the clock. But in a seesawing final quarter, the Wildfires regained the lead with just minutes remaining following a perfectly weighted cross field kick from new flyhalf Jack Evenden.

The playmaker, originally from Canberra, then slotted the conversion from the sideline to give his side a one-point lead with just seconds remaining.

Make or break time for teams outside of the six

It’s a massive weekend for Western Sydney and Sydney Uni who really need to win this weekend to put pressure on the teams above them on the ladder.

Seventh placed Western Sydney face sixth placed Norths. A win against a side above them on the ladder would boost the Two Blues finals chances massively.

Uni head to Newcastle to play Hunter and really need to return to Sydney with maximum points.

If Hunter beat Uni, they will keep their slim finals hopes alive, as will Eastwood if they upset Warringah at Rat Park.