Shute Shield: Round Seven Talking Points

Wed, May 22, 2024, 12:00 AM
NSW Rugby
by NSW Rugby

Warringah beat Hunter to claim their fourth straight win on Saturday and move three competition points clear at the top of the Shute Shield ladder. Elsewhere, Easts produced their best performance of the year to beat Norths and Souths upset Sydney Uni. Here’s what we noticed over the weekend.

Round 7 Talking Points
Easts back to their best

The rollercoaster at Woollahra Oval continued on Saturday, with Easts producing one of their best performances of the year to beat Norths.

After opening the year with three wins, Easts dropped three tight games before defeating last year’s grand finalists on Saturday.

The Beasties have drifted in and out of games at times this season. When they are on, they look close to unstoppable and if they can find a way to be on for longer periods of the game, they are going to be very dangerous at the backend of the season.

Souths rediscover DNA

There’s been a lot of talk internally at Southern Districts over the past 12 months about trying to rediscover the club’s DNA.

The Rebels have had a tough few seasons, but first grade played like the Souths of old on Saturday, in a gritty 22-17 win over Sydney Uni at Forshaw.

The Rebels forward pack played tough and made things extremely uncomfortable for the Students. Their goal line defence in the final minutes was also impressive.

Souths still have a long way to go, but there are some really positive signs across both grade and colts down in the Sutherland Shire.

Gordon are a good side

Good side’s find a way to win, even when they play poorly and that’s exactly what Gordon did against Eastwood on the weekend.

On paper, form suggested Gordon should have beaten the Woodies comfortably but a resilient Eastwood side had other ideas.

It took a try in the 82nd minute and a match winning conversion from flyhalf Ben Pollack to seal a 19-18 win and a fifth straight victory for the in-form Stags.

Big tests for Manly and Warringah

The competition’s two Northern Beaches sides are both back in premiership contention but face tough tests this weekend.

Manly host last year’s premiers Randwick at Manly Oval, while Warringah travel to face runner’s up Norths.

The Marlins, like Easts, have been hard to get a read on so far this year. Manly’s best rugby is right up there with the best in the competition, but consistency has been an issue. Their wins this year have also mostly come against sides further down the ladder.

Warringah are red hot and have lost just once so far this season. If they can beat Norths on a dry deck at North Sydney Oval, the Hillbillies have every right to start getting very excited, but that might be easier said than done.

We should know a lot more about Manly and Warringah’s premiership credentials after the next fortnight of rugby.