Welcome to the Shute Shield Round 15 predictions.
For those readers able to view 7 Two or access 7 Plus (https://7plus.com.au/shute-shield), the televised game this week is between Eastwood and Gordon.
Eastern Suburbs v Sydney University at Woollahra Oval
Eastern Suburbs has stormed back into the top 6 on the back of a morale boosting win over Manly in Round 13 and a bye last week. With the Beasties, Gordon, Manly, Southern Districts and possibly Randwick battling it out for 5th and 6th position, every match is vital for the boys from Woollahra. Sydney University thumped the Western Sydney Two Blues last week and can cement their position in the top 4 with a win on the 4G turf at Woollahra. With Super Rugby contracted players slowly filtering back to their Shute Shield clubs, I’m predicting a narrow win to the Students.
Hugh’s Prediction: Sydney University by 7
DrivingMaul Prediction: Sydney University by 3
Eastwood v Gordon at TG Milner Field
Eastwood have bounced back from their Round 12 loss to Sydney University with a strong wins over Randwick and Manly. With third placed Northern Suburbs having the bye this week and a guaranteed 5 points, the Woodies need to win if they are to hold onto second place on the ladder. Gordon’s recent run of good form (plus a bye) has seen them move up to 5th place on the ladder, their highest placing this season. The Highlanders were far too good for West Harbour last week, running out winners by a score of 46-12. Eastwood comprehensively defeated Gordon in their Round 7 clash but I expect a much closer game this time. I’m predicting a tight Eastwood victory.
Hugh’s Prediction: Eastwood by 8
DrivingMaul Prediction: Eastwood by 7
Southern Districts v Manly at Forshaw Rugby Park
Southern Districts have shown some much needed improvement over the past 3 weeks, with wins over Western Sydney and Randwick, and a close loss to Gordon. They currently sit in 8th position and will probably need to win at least 3 of their last 4 games if they are to qualify for the finals. Manly is also currently outside the top 6, albeit only due to an inferior points differential compared to Easts. The Marlins have lost their last 2 games and badly need a win to keep their season alive. They can, however, rely on a guaranteed extra 5 points due to their Round 18 bye. Manly did win 4 in a row prior to their losses to Easts and Eastwood and I expect their class to shine through.
Hugh’s Prediction: Manly by 9
DrivingMaul Prediction: Manly by 3
West Harbour v Warringah at Concord Oval
West Harbour was well beaten by Gordon last week, going down by 34 points at Chatswood Oval. Things don’t get any easier for the Pirates this week and a loss here will more than likely see their admittedly slim finals hopes disappear for good. Warringah’s 9 match winning streak came to an end last week when they were humbled 25-10 by a red hot Northern Suburbs outfit. The Rats won’t take anything for granted this week and will be determined to produce a much better performance. Warringah should have too much class here.
Hugh’s Prediction: Warringah by 21
DrivingMaul Prediction: Warringah by 10
Compete with Hugh & I in the DrivingMaul SuperBru picking league
Western Sydney v Randwick at Lidcombe Oval
The Western Sydney Two Blues’ struggles continued last week when they were comprehensively beaten by Sydney University 38-7. The Two Blues would love to get at least one more win before the end of their season and according to current positions on the ladder, this week is their best chance. Randwick’s recent woes also continued in Round 14, where Southern Districts handed them their fourth loss in their last 5 matches. The Wicks will still have semi-final aspirations but must win here if they are to remain a realistic top 6 chance. The Two Blues will be up for this one but I just can’t see their defence being strong enough to contain Randwick.
Hugh’s Prediction: Randwick by 18
DrivingMaul Prediction: Randwick by 20
Bye: Northern Suburbs
Hugh: 42 from 70
DrivingMaul: 42 from 70
It’s neck and neck!!!
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