Shute Shield 2020 Round 7 Predictions

Our Shute Shield expert Hugh takes you through the games and let you know how things are going to pan out.

The 7 Two television game is Randwick v Eastwood. It can also be viewed online through 7 Plus at  Replays of every game are also available through Clutch TV’s Facebook page, as well as through their app.

Northern Suburbs v Western Sydney Two Blues at Camden

Northern Suburbs suffered their first loss of the season against Eastern Suburbs last week. Skipper Nick Palmer and prop Isaac Cavu were both sorely missed as the Shoremen struggled up front. Despite this, Norths were still in the game at the 72-minute mark before a late try put the Beasties out of reach.

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The Western Sydney Two Blues’ last outing was a 57-14 loss against Eastwood in round 5 before having the bye last week. The Two Blues have been plagued by injuries and inconsistent performances. 

Norths have selected an entirely new front row in an effort to improve on what was a poor performance at the set piece last week. The Two Blues are yet to record a win in season 2020 but will bring plenty of endeavour and enthusiasm to the contest. Norths should be too good here.

Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 33

Penrith v Manly at Nepean Rugby Park

 Penrith has developed a reputation for starting games well and last week was no exception when they jumped out to a 3-0 lead early against Warringah. The Emus were competitive for 60 minutes but a disappointing 20-minute period at the end of the first half ensured that Warringah headed back to Narrabeen with a bonus point win.

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Manly’s finals hopes look to be all but over after their loss to West Harbour saw them slump to 9th on the ladder with only 1 win from 6 matches. The Marlins will see the loss as one that got away after they led 19-15 before conceding a late try and then squandering a last minute chance to edge back in front.

Penrith will no doubt see this as a game that they are capable of winning and will play accordingly. The Marlins make the long trip from the Northern Beaches to the foot of the Blue Mountains knowing that every game is a must win if they are to feature in the post season. I’m predicting a tough game but Manly has too many quality players not to come away with the win.

Prediction: Manly by 14

Randwick v Eastwood at Coogee Oval

Randwick remained unbeaten and on top of the table with a convincing 34-5 win over Southern Districts. Australian 7s representative Maurice Longbottom continues to impress while Dave Horwitz is proving to be a dominant number 10 at this level.

Meanwhile, Eastwood fell victim to the Sydney University juggernaut with the Uni forwards proving to be too powerful. The Woods were down 22-7 midway through the first half but clawed their way back into the match with winger Fabian Goodall crossing for a double. The Students eventually won a tough contest by 36-26.

This should be a great game with the potential for some great running rugby on a dry track at Coogee. 5 of Randwick’s 6 wins have come against teams outside the top 6 so this will be a big test for the Myrtle Greens. Eastwood have been impressive in their 4 wins but Coogee Oval is always a tough place for visiting teams to play. I think the home side will be too good.   

Prediction: Randwick by 7

Warringah v Southern Districts at Pittwater Rugby Park

Warringah remains one win outside the top 6 following their 49-17 win over Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park. The Rats scored some spectacular long range tries with winger Ben Woollett crossing for a double.

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Southern Districts lost their first game of the season last week with a disappointing performance against Randwick. The Rebels have beaten both Sydney Uni and Eastwood, proving that they have the potential to beat the best teams in the competition on their day.

The Rats will be buoyed by their win over the Emus and will undoubtedly be keen to get a win in front of the Hillbillies at Rat Park. Southern Districts will be out to make amends for last week’s loss and I expect a better performance on Saturday.  The Rebels are no strangers to winning away from home and I think they can do it again this week at Narrabeen.

Prediction: Southern Districts by 12

West Harbour v Gordon at Drummoyne Oval

West Harbour scored the upset of the round when they got their maiden win of 2020 by defeating the more fancied Manly Marlins at Drummoyne Oval last Saturday. The Pirates have been steadily improving and were able to put together an 80-minute performance, which was instrumental in securing the win. 

Gordon remains one of the competition favourites. The Highlanders extended their unbeaten run to 5 matches with a convincing win over the Wildfires in Newcastle, despite resting several key forwards. Harrison Goddard and Rod Iona continue to be one of the form halves pairings in the competition. 

The Pirates will be flying high after their win over Manly and will be looking to ambush the Highlanders. Gordon coach Darren Coleman will know that the Highlanders will need to be at their best to beat the Pirates and will prepare them accordingly. I think that this is somewhat of a danger game for Gordon but their class in key positions should see them emerge victorious.

Prediction: Gordon by 18

Hunter Wildfires v Eastern Suburbs at Newcastle Sports Ground No. 2 

The Hunter Wildfires were well beaten by Gordon last week, despite strong performances from openside flanker Shawn Ingle and number 8 George Noa. The Wildfires have struggled to recapture the form that saw them snatch a draw against the Marlins at Manly in round 4.

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The Eastern Suburbs scrum was the dominant factor in the Beasties’ win over Northern Suburbs.  Henry Patterson scored a great counter attacking try to seal the win for Easts in the closing minutes. The win was vital in keeping the Beasties in the hunt for a top 6 position.

The Wildfires will be looking for a stronger performance this week as they once again enjoy the home ground advantage. The Beasties will be strengthened by the return of Charlie Gamble and Ryan McCauley from Super Rugby and will be hoping to string some wins together into the second half of the competition. I’m predicting a strong win by Easts.

Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 27

Bye: Sydney University

Round 6 Results

Eastern Suburbs v Northern SuburbsNorthern Suburbs by 7Eastern Suburbs 24-14
Eastwood v Sydney UniversitySydney University by 3Sydney University 36-26
Penrith v WarringahWarringah by 31Warringah 49-17
Southern Districts v RandwickRandwick by 5Randwick 34-5
West Harbour v ManlyManly by 12West Harbour 22-19
Hunter Wildfires v GordonGordon by 35Gordon 50-7
Western Sydney Two Blues – Bye

29 out of 36, going well even if last week 2 slip through.

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