Welcome to the Shute Shield Round 8 predictions.
All games are available live and streaming on Stan Sport.
Gordon v Warringah at Chatswood Oval
Gordon sits in third place on the ladder after their 31-17 win over West Harbour in round 7. The Highlanders scored the first three tries of the match to lead 26-0 and were never seriously threatened by the Pirates. Backrower Tom Silk was again one of Gordon’s best. Warringah were well beaten by the Sydney University juggernaut, conceding 45 points. The Rats made too many errors and the Students took full advantage. Fullback Ben Marr continued his good form, scoring all of Warringah’s 12 points.
Gordon welcomes back flyhalf Reece MacDonald this week while Warringah scrum half Harry Anderson-Brown is also making his return from injury. Warringah will be up for this match after their disappointing performance last week but the return of MacDonald, along with the strength of the Highlanders’ backrow, has me tipping the home side.
Prediction: Gordon by 10
Penrith v Eastern Suburbs at Nepean Rugby Park
Penrith were impressive in patches, especially in attack, but lost their round 7 match to Randwick 54-17. The Emus scored 3 enterprising tries, including one of the tries of the year to fullback Villi Cerai, but they found it difficult to contain the Wicks in defence. Eastern Suburbs survived the Sunday game in Newcastle, coming home with a 43-29 win over the Hunter Wildfires. Flyhalf Rohan Saifoloi, centre Nick Jooste and backrower Archie Gavin were among the Beasties’ best.
The Emus continue to show that there is plenty of potential in Sydney’s west and the fact that they are consistently scoring tries is a promising sign. Easts will know that they need to leave Nepean with 5 points if they are going to feature in the finals and will look to control the game up front and through Saifoloi’s kicking game.
Prediction: Eastern Suburbs by 40
Randwick v Southern Districts at Coogee Oval
Randwick will be satisfied with their 37-point win over Penrith last week, despite conceding 3 tries. Christian Yassmin continues to impress for the Wicks, scoring 3 of their 6 tries. Scrumhalf and captain Mitch Short also played well. Southern Districts won their second consecutive game, beating Manly 42-30 at Forshaw. The Rebels controlled the game early, with winger Christian Kagiassis scoring what was probably the fastest try this year when he crossed the line from a set move less than 30 seconds after kick-off. After leading 35-3 after 30 minutes, the Marlins staged a comeback of sorts before the Rebels scored again in the closing minutes to seal the win.
Randwick is always a tough proposition at Coogee but in what is sure to be a huge boost for the Rebels, coach Todd Louden has announced that local junior and former Sunwolves backrower Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco will make his first appearance in the Shute Shield since 2016. Souths will be looking to dominate at scrum time, allowing the in-form former Randwick scrum half Tyzac Jordan and flyhalf Myles Thoroughgood to control the game.
Prediction: Southern Districts by 7
Manly v Northern Suburbs at Manly Oval
Manly was too slow out of the blocks against Southern Districts last week, conceding 35 points in the first half hour in their 42-30 loss. The Marlins did go on to score 22 unanswered points and get within 10 but never seriously threatened to overtake the Rebels. Northern Suburbs beat the Western Sydney Two Blues 46-7 in the late game last Saturday. The Shoremen had to do without regular flyhalf Angus Sinclair, who suffered an injury during the week, but Max Burey slotted into the role comfortably. Meanwhile, winger Harry Cudmore had a first-grade debut to remember, scoring 4 tries.
Manly is in danger of missing the finals for a second consecutive year if they don’t start stringing some wins together. The unbeaten Norths are continuing to get the job done week by week and should be too strong here.
Prediction: Northern Suburbs by 18
Eastwood v Hunter Wildfires at TG Milner Field
Eastwood had the bye in round 7 but were beaten 19-14 by Northern Suburbs in their last start. The Hunter Wildfires led Eastern Suburbs 10-0 but then allowed the Beasties to score 28 unanswered points. Flyhalf Nathan De Thierry crossed the line twice for the Wildfires but Eastern Suburbs always seemed in control and ran out 43-29 winners. Joe Tamani and Leon Fukafuka were among the best for the Wildfires.
Eastwood lost their two games prior to last week’s bye so really need to get back in the winner’s circle to cement their position in the top 6. The Wildfires are no easy beats and will aim up but the Woodies should be too good.
Prediction: Eastwood by 20
Western Sydney Two Blues v West Harbour at Camden
The Western Sydney Two Blues were well beaten by Northern Suburbs 46-7 last week. Norths probably weren’t at their best but the Two Blues leaked points on a regular basis, allowing the Shoremen to score 7 tries to 1. Goal kicking scrumhalf Sam Babb and former NRL player Tepai Moeroa continue to shine for the Two Blues. West Harbour started slowly in their match against Gordon, conceding 3 tries in the first 16 minutes. The Pirates did however, show plenty of enterprise in attack, with backrower Sean Dixon scoring one of the tries of the season so far after a great interchange of passing.
The Two Blues are still searching for their first win of the season and will be keen to put in a big performance at Camden. With both teams possessing plenty of exciting players who love to offload, this has the potential to turn into a try fest. I think that the Pirates’ superior defence will be the difference here.
Prediction: West Harbour by 15
Bye: Sydney University
Round 7 Results
|West Harbour v Gordon||Gordon by 10||Gordon 31-17|
|Sydney University v Warringah||Sydney University by 15||Sydney University 45-12|
|Penrith v Randwick||Randwick by 23||Randwick 54-17|
|Southern Districts v Manly||Southern Districts by 12||Southern Districts 42-30|
|Northern Suburbs v Western Sydney Two Blues||Northern Suburbs by 36||Northern Suburbs 46-7|
|Hunter Wildfires v Eastern Suburbs||Eastern Suburbs by 15||Eastern Suburbs 43-29|
|Eastwood – Bye|
So far Hugh is 35 From 42 or 83%, another perfect round from the soothsayer that is Hugh