Welcome to the Shute Shield Finals Week 1 predictions.
Congratulations to Sydney University who leapfrogged Eastwood and Warringah to claim the minor premiership last week. They also took out the Club Championship, edging out Gordon (who finished on top of the Colts Club Championship)), reflecting their strength across all grades.
At the conclusion of this week’s games, the 2 lowest ranked losers will be eliminated.
DrivingMaul – Wow how complicated can they make it?
For those readers able to view 7 Two or access 7 Plus (https://7plus.com.au/shute-shield), there are two televised games this week, Warringah and Norths on Saturday and Eastwood and Easts on Sunday.
Sydney University v Manly at Sydney University Football Ground
Sydney University will enter this game as the firm favourite, having won their last 5 games. In contrast, Manly has won only 1 of their last 5. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Marlins will be fresh off their final round bye and they did defeat the Students in their regular season clash. Having said that, Sydney Uni is in a rich vein of form and Manly hasn’t won a finals match since 2015.
Hugh’s Prediction: Sydney University by 14
DrivingMaul Prediction: Sydney University by 7
Warringah v Northern Suburbs at Pittwater Rugby Park
Warringah finished the regular season with a disappointing 36-21 loss against Southern Districts at Forshaw. The Rats were without a large number of regular first graders and they will be hoping to field a more settled line up this week. Northern Suburbs were handed their third successive defeat last week when they went down to Randwick by 2 points. These 2 teams played twice in the regular season, with the Shoremen winning both times. I’m tipping the Rats to reverse the trend and get the win this time around.
Hugh’s Prediction: Warringah by 7
DrivingMaul Prediction: Warringah by 15
Eastwood v Eastern Suburbs at TG Milner Field
Eastwood looked set to claim the minor premiership last week but were pipped at the post when Eastern Suburbs humbled them 48-26 to claim their third consecutive victory and secure a finals berth in the process. Easts have beaten the Woodies twice this season but I can’t see them doing it a third time. Eastwood will be desperate to reverse last week’s result, especially in front of their fans at Milner.
Hugh’s Prediction: Eastwood by 8
DrivingMaul Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 3
Hugh: 56 from 90
DrivingMaul: 56 from 90
DrivingMaul – The final game this weekend will break the deadlock between us!
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