Welcome to the Shute Shield Round 12 predictions.
This week’s 7 Two television game is Sydney University v Northern Suburbs. It can also be viewed online through 7 Plus at https://7plus.com.au/shute-shield. Replays of most other games are available via the Clutch TV app.
Eastwood v Warringah at TG Milner Field
Eastwood currently sits in fourth position on the Shute Shield ladder but will move to third should they beat Warringah on Saturday due to Randwick having the bye. The Woodies had the bye themselves last round so will be well rested for this week’s match. Warringah retained a mathematical chance of qualifying for the finals due to their 50-15 victory over the Wildfires in Newcastle last week. The Rats will provide stern opposition but Eastwood should be too good at home.
Prediction: Eastwood by 12
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Western Sydney Two Blues v Eastern Suburbs at Lidcombe Oval
The Two Blues’ lack of structure was exposed by West Harbour in their 50-15 loss last week. They will need to be far more organised if they are to compete with their round 12 opponent, Eastern Suburbs. The Beasties look to be entrenched in the top 6 and are coming off a 56-19 drubbing of Penrith. I’m predicting a convincing win by Easts.
Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 32
Penrith v Gordon at Nepean Rugby Park
Penrith is still searching for that elusive first win of the 2020 season following their 37-point loss to Eastern Suburbs. Things don’t get any easier for the Emus this week as they face competition leaders, Gordon. The Highlanders didn’t have things all their own way against their round 11 opponents, Sydney University. They trailed 19-3 midway through the first half and the Students were dominating most facets. An inspired comeback, including a second half try for Wallaby Jack Dempsey in front of the Trumper Pavilion, saw the Highlanders run out 34-24 winners. It’s hard to see anything but a strong Gordon victory here.
Prediction: Gordon by 38
Southern Districts v Manly at Forshaw Rugby Park
Southern Districts’ finals hopes are teetering on a knife’s edge after their round 11 loss to Northern Suburbs. Realistically, the Rebels will need to win both of their remaining games and hope that Uni and/or Easts drops one of their remaining games. Meanwhile, Manly put in an improved performance but it wasn’t enough to overcome a strong Randwick side at Coogee Oval. The Marlins have their bye in the final round next week so will be determined to finish their season strongly. Unfortunately, I think that the Rebels have too much to play for and that their powerhouse scrum will see them emerge victorious.
Prediction: Southern Districts by 14
Sydney University v Northern Suburbs at Sydney University Football Ground
Sydney University dropped to sixth place on the ladder following their 10-point loss to Gordon. The Students were disappointed to lose after looking very much in control during the first 25 minutes of the game. Northern Suburbs continued their impressive form with a strong 35-17 win over Southern Districts. If the Shoremen can match the Students up front then I think that their backs will be too strong.
Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 8
NHRU Wildfires v West Harbour at Newcastle Sports Ground No. 2
The Wildfires had a disappointingly high error count in their round 11 loss to Warringah at home last week while West Harbour recorded their third win of 2020 with a big win over their western Sydney rivals, the Two Blues. I’m expecting the Wildfires to aim up for what will be their last home game of the season. However, I think that the Pirates will continue their recent run of good form and will have too much attacking prowess for the Wildfires.
Prediction: West Harbour by 16
Round 11 Results
|Eastern Suburbs v Penrith||Eastern Suburbs by 31||Eastern Suburbs 56-19|
|Gordon v Sydney University||Gordon by 5||Gordon 34-24|
|West Harbour v Western Sydney Two Blues||West Harbour by 15||West Harbour 50-15|
|NHRU Wildfires v Warringah||Warringah by 16||Warringah 50-15|
|Northern Suburbs v Southern Districts||Northern Suburbs by 10||Northern Suburbs 35-17|
|Randwick v Manly||Randwick by 17||Randwick 34-15|
|Eastwood – Bye|
51 out of 61 or 84%, 6 from 6 another prefect round of picks.