Intrust Shute Shield Round 13: Match Previews
Eastwood v Manly – Live on 7TWO
Manly thumped the Woodies when the two sides met back in round nine at Manly Oval to claim outright competition favouritism.
“That loss hurt, it really hurt,” Eastwood lock Jared Barry told Rugby News.
“Every loss hurts, whether it’s by a point or five tries, but to lose like that against Manly really hurt us,” he added.
Despite not being named, Eastwood may welcome back Hugh Roach and Jed Gillespie from Super Rugby duties, adding plenty of muscle to the side that fell just short against Southern Districts last week.
Manly beat Parramatta in a fiery encounter last week, but the victory came at a cost, with fullback BJ Hartmann ruled out of tomorrow’s clash with a cheek injury. Despite that, Manly halfback Matt Lucas thinks his side has the edge over Eastwood out wide.
“In the past, Manly have really relied on our forwards, but this year our backs have been fantastic, finishing all sorts of tries. With Laney (Sam Lane) leading us around, our backs are a real weapon for Manly this year,” Lucas said.
Catch all the action live on 7TWO from 3pm this Saturday.
Eastern Suburbs v Sydney University
Eastern Suburbs fought back to come within a try of Gordon last weekend, but were left to rue a slow start in their 27-22 loss to the Highlanders.
The Beasties will be without Will Fay, Sean Meaney and Jono Lance for Saturday’s clash, which Darren Coleman thinks will be a tight affair.
“The weather is going to play a big part. That will make our tactics, ball control, field position and set piece really important against Uni,” Coleman said.
Sydney Uni also fought back but fell short last weekend, going down 20-15 to Randwick.
The Students welcome back Melbourne Rebel Tom Kingston to their backline, with a host of Super Rugby talent likely to return in the coming weeks.
Warringah v Gordon
Warringah were brilliant in a bonus point win against Norths last weekend, despite letting the Shoreman back in the match late in the game.
The Rats backline have produced some of the tries of the season and will be tough to stop under lights at Pittwater this week.
Gordon coach Geoff Townsend said his side is focussed on completing an 80 minute performance this weekend, after also letting Easts back into the match last week.
“We wasted a few opportunities last weekend and to Easts’ credit, they came back and put pressure on us,” Townsend said.
Highlanders halfback Terry Preston has been ruled out of the clash and will be replaced by Pay Curtin.
Penrith v Northern Suburbs
Penrith were beaten comfortably by West Harbour last weekend forcing coach Teki Tuipulotu to make a number of changes for this weekend’s clash.
“We are focusing on ball retention and continuity this week. We need to improve our work at the breakdown and our attack,” he said.
Norths were also disappointing against Warringah last weekend and will be looking to bounce back at Nepean.
“Last week the work rate of three or four guys was appalling and that left us with holes in our defensive structures,” coach Simon Cron said.
West Harbour v Randwick
West Harbour head into Saturday’s clash coming off a big win over Penrith, but need a victory to keep in touch with the competitions top six.
Pirate head coach Mark Gudmunson told Rugby News defense was the key for his team this weekend.
“We know we can get into a tight tussle and come out on top, something we did not do in the past but that is something we are very happy to do to win games. You can’t play these top teams and let them score 40 points.”
Randwick held off a fast finishing Sydney Uni to claim a crucial five point win last weekend.
Shannon Fraser doesn’t want his side to change much, but knows they’ll need to be at their best to beat the Pirates.
“We know it’s going to be a very physical game, it always is against West Harbour, we can’t shy away from that if we want to take the chocolates.”
Parramatta v Southern Districts
Despite falling short against Manly and Sydney Uni in their past two matches, Parramatta continue to show significant signs of improvement and will make things tough for the Rebels this weekend.
Southern Districts fought back from 17-3 down to claim a morale boosting 25-24 victory over Eastwood last weekend.
The Rebels will be without halfback Dewet Roos for the clash, however he is replaced by former Australian schoolboy Waldo Wessels.