Welcome to the Shute Shield Round 5 predictions.
With 4 rounds now in the books, the competition is starting to take shape. Sydney University and Northern Suburbs remain undefeated while the Wildfires and Two Blues are still searching for that elusive first victory.
All games are available live and streaming on Stan Sport.
Gordon v Southern Districts at Chatswood Oval
Gordon will be refreshed after a week off following their loss to Northern Suburbs in round 3. The Highlanders will be without two key backline figures after injuries ruled out flyhalf Reece MacDonald and winger Alesana Pohla. Southern Districts are also coming off a loss to Northern Suburbs at North Sydney Oval. The Rebels will also have a new face at number 10 in Myles Thoroughgood after coach Todd Louden made several changes to his backline. Chatswood Oval is likely to be soggy after several days of rain so this one is likely to be won up front. Southern Districts has one of the best scrums in the competition while the Highlanders also boast an impressive pack with Robbie Abel, Tom Silk and Jordie Goddard. I think that if Gordon can match the Rebels’ scrum then they should get the win in front of what should be a sizeable crowd for Back to Tartan Day at Chatswood.
Prediction: Gordon by 5
Eastern Suburbs v Western Sydney Two Blues at Wade Park, Orange
Eastern Suburbs have slipped out of the top 6 after their loss to Eastwood. This week sees them travel out to the Central West for their annual game in Orange. Their opponents are the Western Sydney Two Blues, who were more than competitive against Manly last week. Loosehead Nick Blacklock, backrower Riley Jacobson and scrumhalf Sam Babb will be key figures for the Two Blues, who are still searching for what will be a morale boosting first win of 2021. The Beasties should win this one but if the Two Blues can replicate some of their play from last week then Easts certainly won’t have things all their own way.
Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 18
West Harbour v Northern Suburbs at Drummoyne Oval
West Harbour is only 1 bonus point win outside the top 6, despite having only 1 win from the first 4 rounds. Defence remains a concern for the Pirates, who again conceded over 40 points in their round 4 loss to Warringah. Northern Suburbs remain undefeated and are looking very impressive. A likely wet surface at Drummoyne may help the Pirates to contain Norths’ potent backs but the Shoremen should have enough class and tactical nous to come away with the win.
Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 24
Eastwood v Warringah at TG Milner Field
A spirited second half performance saw Eastwood overcome Easts at Woollahra last week. The Woodies are now 3 from 4, with their last-minute loss to Sydney University in round 3 the only blemish on their record. Warringah returned to form with stand in flyhalf Ben Marr orchestrating a 23-point win over West Harbour. Eastwood love playing at TG and with Tane Edmed getting another start in the 10 jersey, I’m tipping the Woods.
Prediction: Eastwood by 14
Hunter Wildfires v Penrith at Newcastle Sports Ground No. 2
There was plenty of talk about the Hunter Wildfires during the preseason but they remain winless after a 30-point drubbing at the hands of Randwick last week. Penrith faced the might of Sydney University last week and although their effort couldn’t be faulted, the Emus failed to trouble the scorers while conceding 50. The Wildfires will be targeting this game and have made several changes to their starting line up in an effort to find their best effective combinations. I see this as a tough road trip for the Emus and am predicting a victory for the home side.
Prediction: Hunter Wildfires by 18
Sydney University v Manly at Sydney University Football Ground
Sydney University continues to demonstrate their premiership credentials, remaining undefeated and on top of the ladder after their 50-0 win over Penrith. Manly looked to be struggling against the Western Sydney Two Blues in their round 4 match but a try just prior to halftime was the turning point for the Marlins and a strong second half by their forwards saw them get home by 11 points. This week Harley Attwater returns to flyhalf in an effort to kickstart the struggling Marlins’ backline. The Students are always incredibly difficult to defeat at the Birthplace and they should have the ascendency over the Marlins in both attack and defence.
Prediction: Sydney University by 15
Round 4 Results
|Penrith v Sydney University||Sydney University by 42||Sydney University 50-0|
|Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood||Eastwood by 7||Eastwood 42-28|
|Hunter Wildfires v Randwick||Randwick by 14||Randwick 38-8|
|Northern Suburbs v Southern Districts||Northern Suburbs by 10||Northern Suburbs 23-13|
|Warringah v West Harbour||Warringah by 12||Warringah 47-24|
|Manly v Western Sydney Two Blues||Manly by 21||Manly 38-27|
|Gordon – Bye|
So far Hugh is 19 From 24 or 79%, a perfect round 4!!! Well done Hugh!!!