Intrust Shute Shield Round 14: Match Previews
Southern Districts v Warringah – Live on 7TWO
Southern Districts and Warringah boast two of the most entertaining backlines in the competition, yet both Matt Barr and Greg Marr expect the match to be won up front.
Souths leaked four tries against Parramatta last weekend and were far from their best, despite claiming a bonus point win. Matt Barr said defence was the focus this weekend, with the Rebels set to keep a close eye on Josh Holmes and Hamish Angus.
“Our attitude in terms of the collision and the breakdown and the tackle was off compared to our wins against West Harbour and Eastwood,” Barr said.
“We’ve put a big emphasis on that this week and we needed to, Warringah are a good side with a lot of points in them, so we need to make sure we shut them down.”
Greg Marr still thinks Warringah are yet to put together an 80-minute performance this season. He thinks his forward pack hold the key to success against the Rebels.
“That battle up front will set the tone for the match. Both backlines are good, but they need their forwards to be dominating to put them on the front foot,” Marr said.
“We’ve got to be solid at set piece, then if we can get on top of them a little bit, our backs will do the rest.”
Catch all the action live on 7TWO from 3pm on Saturday.
Sydney Uni v West Harbour
West Harbour stunned Sydney Uni when the two sides met back in round 9. Neither side can afford to drop a match at this point of the season and both head into the clash coming off big victories.
“West Harbour were really impressive last week, they gave it to Randwick. It’ll be a tough game, they’ve got power all across the park. We are expecting a tough and physical encounter,” newly appointed Waratahs assistant coach Chris Malone said.
After thumping Easts 44-0 last week, Sydney Uni sit in fifth position, five competition points ahead of the eighth placed Pirates.
“Wins are crucial. There are five games to go and between fourth and eight, anyone can occupy those positions come the end of the season,” Malone added.
Northern Suburbs v Gordon
Norths ended a two match losing streak against Penrith last week and will be looking to build momentum into the back end of the season against Gordon this weekend.
“We need to stick to our structures and do the basics well against Gordon this week. Communication will be really important, as will role clarity in both attack and defence,” coach Simon Cron told Rugby News.
Gordon were their own worst enemy in the first half against Warringah last weekend, handing the Rats a number of tries off the back of simple errors. Whilst the Highlanders fought back in the second half, the damage was well and truly done.
“We need to be up for it from the commencement of the game. Warringah really dished us up in the first 25 minutes last week,” Gordon coach Geoff Townsend said.
“Quite simply, if we turn up with the same attitude this week, we will really struggle. The importance of this game can’t be understated,” he added.
Norths and Gordon sit in seventh and ninth respectively and whilst both remain a chance to play finals footy, a loss this weekend will make it tough.
Manly v Eastern Suburbs
Manly suffered their first defeat of 2015 last weekend against Eastwood and will be eager to bounce back at home this weekend.
The Marlins welcome back Cadeyrn Neville from Super Rugby duties but will be without Sam Lane for Saturday’s clash.
Easts coach Darren Coleman has one eye on 2016 and will hand Tom Meritt, Liam Faughlin, Jack Creith and Cohen Guerra their first grade debuts this weekend.
Easts were belted by Sydney Uni at home last weekend and have focussed on defence during the week.
“We need to improve our defensive structures, particularly after a line break. Their big forwards like to roll around the corner; we’ll need to stop that, Coleman said.
Parramatta v Randwick
Whilst Parramatta lost to Southern Districts last weekend, they continued to cause headaches for the competition’s top sides, claiming a four try bonus point against the Rebels.
Although finals may be out of the picture for this year, the Two Blues can ruin a number of team’s seasons in the coming weeks.
Randwick were far from their best against West Harbour last weekend, beaten comfortably by the Pirates 36-10.
“This week we need to front up mentally and be prepared to take on Parramatta up front and physically win the contact point,” coach Shannon Fraser said.
“Parramatta have proved they have the capacity to match any team in the competition and we know that they grow another leg when they play at home.”
With matches against Souths, Eastwood and Manly in the coming weeks, this is almost a must win for the Galloping Greens.
Eastwood v Penrith
Eastwood claimed a big win over Manly last weekend and will take plenty of confidence into Saturday’s clash against Penrith.
The Woodies welcomed back Hugh Roach and Jed Gillespie to their front row (Gillespie from the bench) last weekend, with the pair adding plenty of punch up front.
The Emus know they have they’re in for a tough afternoon against the reigning premiers, but aren’t losing hope.
“It’s about having pride in ourselves in matches like these,” coach Teki Tuipulotu told Rugby News.
“We need to turn up, focus and apply ourselves to the job at hand,” he added.
David Isopa returns for the Emus at flyhalf.