Shute Shield clubs raise concerns about “uneven” 2018 draft draw

A number of Shute Shield clubs have raised concerns over what they consider to be an “uneven” proposed draw for the 2018 Shute Shield season.

The draft draw, which has been sent to all clubs, sees each club play each other once, before facing another six clubs again in an 18 round competition set to begin on April 7 and finish on September 1.

Rugby News understands the Sydney Rugby Union designed the draw to ensure all clubs play twice against the clubs they only played once in 2017.

Based on this, Gordon are set to play twice against six of the top six sides from 2017, West Harbour will play five of the top six sides and Warringah and Penrith will both play four sides from last year’s top six.

All other clubs are set to play three top six sides, except for Southern Districts who are only scheduled to play two teams twice from last year’s finals series.

While clubs are largely concerned about the uneven nature of the draw and the effect it may have on what is expected to be another tight Shute Shield competition, queries have also been raised about how the draw may affect certain club’s gate takings.