Angus Sinclair: We’ve lost four straight but we can beat Sydney Uni this weekend
With a number of Super Rugby players set to return for the back end of the Shute Shield season, the majority of sides in the top six this season have had one eye on Northern Suburbs all year
The 2016 premiers, who have played in two of the last three grand finals, have been thereabouts all season.
But things haven’t quite gone to plan in recent weeks.
Since getting their best side on the park, the Shoreman have struggled and after Saturday’s 24-7 loss to Warringah, they’ve now lost four straight matches.
It’s a concern for even the most optimistic Norths’ fans, but somehow the Shoreman are still alive.
“We definitely would have preferred to be winning games of footy to get to this point but at the same time, it really doesn’t matter now,” flyhalf Angus Sinclair said.
“We got a golden ticket on the weekend. After the loss, we didn’t think we’d still be in the competition and to be honest we probably didn’t deserve to be but we got lucky and sometimes that’s what you need.”
After finishing fourth, Norths survived the week one finals cull thanks to an Eastwood victory over Easts on Sunday.
But Sinclair knows they won’t be as lucky this weekend if they play like they did last week against minor premiers Sydney Uni on Saturday.
“We just lacked intensity against the Rats. They beat us physically and in finals footy you can’t afford to do that. It’s pretty simple really.
“It’s a worry because it was a finals match and we were treating it as do or die and we just didn’t turn up.
“It’s a positive that we know that attitude can be turned around pretty quickly, but if you can’t get up for a semi final then when are you going to get up for a game,” Sinclair asked.
After four straight losses, Norths are long odds to beat a red hot Sydney Uni side this weekend but Sinclair said his side won’t pay much attention to that.”
“We’ve just got to get that emotion back into our game. Maybe a few of us need to realise how much of an opportunity it is to play in a Shute Shield final,” he said.
“Uni are a really good side. They do all the basic stuff really well, they’ve got a great set piece and they don’t make many errors. That’s basically a blueprint for finals footy.
“They were the best team last year and over the last six weeks of the season, they’ve been the best team again so they’re definitely favourites to win the competition.
“But we’re ready for it. I don’t want to give too much a way in terms of tactics but we’ve got a plan for this weekend and if we can get in the fight, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t beat them.”
Despite advancing to Saturday’s preliminary final as the only loser, Norths will host Sydney Uni on Saturday, following Sydney Rugby Union’s decision to schedule both preliminary finals back to back at North Sydney Oval.
“It’s a huge bonus, the double header will be a great day. We’ll have plenty of support and we love playing at home.
“In saying that though, when it comes to finals match a field is just four lines and two goal posts and it’s the same for both teams.
“It’s more about our attitude this weekend than anything else.”