The 7 Two television game is Eastern Suburbs v West Harbour. It can also be viewed online through 7 Plus at https://7plus.com.au/shute-shield. Replays of every game are also available through Clutch TV’s Facebook page.
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Gordon v Western Sydney Two Blues at Chatswood Oval
Gordon picked up where they left off in 2020 with a dominant display against a disappointing Manly at the Village Green. The Highlanders scored 12 tries, including a hattrick to new scrumhalf Jacob Abel. Others to impress included new hooker Will Bremner and fullback Ben Pollack. The Western Sydney Two Blues showed plenty of promise in their round 1 match against Eastwood, despite going down 59-19. They will continue to improve as the season progresses.
The defending premiers will relish returning to Chatswood Oval and should be too good for the Two Blues.
Prediction: Gordon by 32
Sydney University v West Harbour at Sydney University Football Ground
Sydney University made a statement in their season opener against the Hunter Wildfires, scoring 8 tries, including 45 unanswered points in the first half. The Students defence was equally impressive as they continually shutdown the Wildfires’ attack. West Harbour were well beaten by Randwick at Drummoyne Oval but will take heart from the fact that their scrum was dominant and that they managed to cross Randwick’s line 3 times.
Beating the Students at home is always a tough ask and I can’t see the Pirates matching Uni in attack or defence at this stage of the season.
Prediction: Sydney University by 25
Eastern Suburbs v Manly at Woollahra Oval
Eastern Suburbs had a successful start to their 2021 campaign, defeating the Rebels by 3 points in a tough encounter at Woollahra. The Beasties dominated the first half before relying on some resolute defence during the second half to see off a tenacious Southern Districts. The Manly Marlins players and coaching staff were bitterly disappointed with their lacklustre performance against the reigning premiers. The Marlins conceded an amazing 66 points before replacement Ben Crearer scored Manly’s first points and were outplayed in every facet.
I expect a much-improved performance from Manly but unfortunately it won’t be enough to defeat Easts at home.
Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 18
Hunter Wildfires v Northern Suburbs at Newcastle Sports Ground No. 2
The Hunter Wildfires made the long drive down the M1 to take on Sydney University in round 1. The Students were in rare form for the opening half but the Wildfires fought back strongly in the second 40, winning the second half 24-11. Northern Suburbs had a day out at Nepean Rugby Park last Saturday, keeping the Emus scoreless while they ran in 11 tries, including a hattrick to backrower Charlie Jeavons-Fellows and a double to centre Nathan Russell.
The Wildfires will fight hard at home but the Shoremen should have too much class and cohesion.
Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 15
Southern Districts v Eastwood at Forshaw Rugby Park
Southern Districts will take plenty from their opening game which saw them come within 3 points of one of the competition heavyweights in Eastern Suburbs. The Rebels are a young side and will improve as the season progresses. Eastwood didn’t have things all their own way against the Western Sydney Two Blues, despite scoring 59 points. The Woodies enjoyed the luxury of having Waratahs Tane Edmed and Mark Mark Nawanqanitwaswe come off the bench at halftime, with both players bringing plenty of class and experience.
This should be a great contest. Forshaw is always a tough place to play but I am predicting a narrow victory to Eastwood.
Prediction: Eastwood by 5
Warringah v Randwick at Pittwater Rugby Park
Warringah had the bye last week. The Rats will be keen to start their season strongly in front of their home fans at North Narrabeen. Randwick started their season with an impressive 52-17 win over West Harbour with former Super Rugby player Chris Eves scoring a double in his first appearance for the Galloping Greens. Ben Starkey will wear the number 10 jersey following Ben Donaldson’s selection as the starting flyhalf for the Waratahs in their clash against the Western Force on Saturday night.
The Rats are always difficult to beat at home but Randwick showed last week that they have enough strike power to get the win.
Prediction: Randwick by 4
Round 1 Results
|Manly v Gordon||Gordon by 10||Gordon 78-10|
|Sydney University v Hunter Wildfires||Sydney University by 12||Sydney University 56-24|
|Eastern Suburbs v Southern Districts||Eastern Suburbs by 14||Eastern Suburbs 17-14|
|Penrith v Northern Suburbs||Northern Suburbs by 40||Northern Suburbs 73-0|
|West Harbour v Randwick||Randwick by 9||Randwick 52-17|
|Eastwood v Western Sydney Two Blues||Eastwood by 28||Eastwood 59-19|
|Warringah – Bye|
So far Hugh is 6 From 6 or 100%, a great start to the season.