Welcome to the Shute Shield Round 16 predictions.
Round 15 was one for the away teams with Eastwood being the only home team to pick up the win. Having said that, the results were fairly predictable with plenty of Superbru tipsters correctly picking all 5 winners.
Round 16 is somewhat of a rivalry round, with the Battle of the Beaches between Northern Beaches rivals Warringah and Manly being the standout game. Elsewhere, traditional rivals Gordon and Norths, Easts and Randwick, and Eastwood and Wests will all be doing battle for local bragging rights.
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 Warringah and Manly.
Eastern Suburbs v Randwick at Woollahra Oval
Eastern Suburbs dropped back out of the top 6 following their Round 15 loss to Sydney University. The Beasties’ inconsistent performances, especially against teams above them on the ladder, has been the defining characteristic of their 2019 season so far. Randwick is currently in 6th place on the ladder, only 1 place ahead of their traditional rivals. The Wicks had to work hard for their 13 point win over the Western Sydney Two Blues last week and will be looking for a more polished performance at Woollahra. The Battle of the East is always a fiercely competitive game and both teams will have plenty of supporters present on Saturday. The corresponding game back in Round 4 saw Randwick notch up their first win of 2019 after 3 consecutive losses. I’m tipping Easts to return the favour and get a vital home win.
Hugh’s Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 10
DrivingMaul Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 7
Northern Suburbs v Gordon at North Sydney Oval
Northern Suburbs are currently sitting in 4th position after wins over cellar dwellers Western Sydney and current competition leaders Warringah, and their Round 15 bye. Norths look to have their season back on track, with their back to back losses against Wests and Manly now a distant memory. Gordon has remained in the top 6 despite last week’s 39-24 loss to Eastwood. The Highlanders need to win at least 2 of their last 3 matches if they are to qualify for the finals, as Randwick and Manly have byes in the remaining 2 rounds. This week’s Battle of the North against Northern Suburbs will be a big test for Gordon is a game that they will be targeting as a must win. The Shoremen were victorious in the Round 8 clash and I’m predicting that they will be too good once again.
Hugh’s Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 8
DrivingMaul Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 7
Southern Districts v Sydney University at Forshaw Rugby Park
Southern Districts remain a mathematical chance to qualify for the finals but face an uphill battle after last week’s 30-19 loss to Manly. The Rebels will more than likely need to win their remaining 3 matches against 3rd placed Sydney University, 2nd placed Eastwood and competition leaders, Warringah. The Students managed to turn the tables against Eastern Suburbs last week, following their heavy loss to the Beasties back in the opening round of 2019. Uni has now won 2 in a row and with a number of Super Rugby contracted non-Wallaby players making their return in recent weeks, the Students look primed for another big finals campaign. I’m predicting Uni to score a convincing win.
Hugh’s Prediction: Sydney University by 19
DrivingMaul Prediction: Sydney University by 10
Warringah v Manly at Pittwater Rugby Park
Warringah’s odds of finishing the 2019 season as minor premiers continue to shorten following their win over West Harbour last week. The Rats’ potent attack was in full cry at Concord as they ran in 9 tries. However, coach Mark Gerrard will be somewhat disappointed that they leaked 29 points against the Pirates and will be hoping for an improved effort this week. Manly’s win over Southern Districts last week not only put an end to their 2 game losing streak but also gave their finals hopes a big boost. The Marlins face West Harbour next week followed by a bye in Round 18, offering up a potential 10 points and an excellent chance of qualifying for the finals, despite what happens this week. Nevertheless, the Battle of the Beaches means a lot to both clubs and the Marlins will be keen to get one over their northern neighbours following their 6 point loss to the Rats at Manly Oval back in Round 8. I’m expecting that the 10,000 + crowd at Rat Park will see another Warringah victory.
Hugh’s Prediction: Warringah by 12
DrivingMaul Prediction: Warringah by 10
Compete with Hugh & I in the DrivingMaul SuperBru picking league
West Harbour v Eastwood at Concord Oval
West Harbour’s finals hopes have all but disappeared following their loss to Warringah last week. The loss was the Pirates’ 3rd in a row, following heavy defeats by both Gordon and Randwick. Things don’t get any easier for Wests this week as they host 2nd placed Eastwood. Round 15 saw the Woodies defeat Gordon and in doing so, win their 3rd consecutive match. Eastwood need to win their remaining 3 matches to remain in the hunt for the minor premiership so will be looking for another strong performance. I’m predicting a big Eastwood victory.
Hugh’s Prediction: Eastwood by 21
DrivingMaul Prediction: Eastwood by 20
Bye: Western Sydney
Hugh: 47 from 75
DrivingMaul: 47 from 75
It’s still neck and neck!!! With us both going for the same picks that’s not going to change this weekend.
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