Shute Shield: Colts 1-3 Road To The Finals
While the Shute Shield 1st Grade competition has rightfully stolen most of the attention this year, the lower grade and colts competitions are also heating up with two rounds remaining in the regular season.
We caught up with NSW Junior Rugby president Ben Gregory to get an update on how the three colts competitions are shaping up.
Sydney Uni (78 – Gordon, Parramatta) and Randwick (65 – West Harbour, Southern Districts) have the top 2 spots sewn up.
Eastwood (56 – Northern Suburbs, Penrith), Southern Districts (54 – Warringah, Randwick) and Eastern Suburbs (51 – Parramatta, Gordon) are all in the mix for positions 3rd to 5th.
“On form Easts should win both and go to a maximum 61 points, Eastwood should also account for Penrith and go to 61 points with a game in hand. Southern Districts have two hard matches and must win both to make the top four,” Gregory told Rugby News.
Key Games – Rd 17 – Eastwood vs Northern Suburbs, Southern Districts v Warringah. Rd 18 – Southern Districts vs Randwick.
Warringah (47 – Southern Districts, Northern Suburbs) and Manly (42 – Penrith and West Harbour) are still in a battle for 6th spot and a finals berth.
“On form, you’d think Manly should win both games and go to a maximum 52 points, while Warringah have a harder road home,” Gregory said.
“Warringah need to win one game with a bonus point and find a win or a bonus point in the other to secure 6th place. If Warringah can only win one game and only find one bonus point then both sides will be locked on 52 points with the same amount of wins, so for and against will be the difference. Currently Warringah are on +38 while Manly are +3.”
Key Games – Rd 17 – Warringah vs Southern Districts, Manly vs Penrith. Rd 18 – Warringah vs Northern Suburbs.
Northern Suburbs (38), Gordon (33), Parramatta (30), West Harbour (13) and Penrith (1) are all beyond making finals but can have a big impact on the make up of this years playoffs.
Randwick (73 – West Harbour, Southern Districts), Eastern Suburbs (70 – Parramatta, Gordon) and Sydney Uni (66 – Gordon, Parramatta) will be the top 3 and will probably finish in that order.
Northern Suburbs (62 – Eastwood, Warringah) and Southern Districts (54 – Warringah, Randwick) should finish 4th and 5th, but Southern Districts could still mathematically snatch 4th if results go their way.
Key Games – Rd 17 – Warringah vs Southern Districts, Northern Suburbs vs Eastwood. Rd 18 – Southern Districts vs Randwick, Northern Suburbs vs Warringah.
Gordon (47 – Sydney Uni, Eastern Suburbs), Eastwood (39 – Northern Suburbs, Penrith) and Warringah (38 – Southern Districts, Northern Suburbs) are all in the hunt for 6th and the final spot in the playoffs.
“On form Gordon will most likely struggle against the heavyweights staying at 47 points. Eastwood should account for Penrith making the Northern Suburbs game vital for them to stay alive. Whilst Warringah need to win everything and rely on other results,” Gregory said.
Key Games – Rd 17 – Warringah vs Southern Districts, Northern Suburbs vs Eastwood, Gordon vs Sydney Uni. Rd 18 – Northern Suburbs vs Warringah, Eastwood vs Penrith, Gordon vs Eastern Suburbs.
Manly (19), Parramatta (14), West Harbour (11) and Penrith (11) are all looking to finish their seasons on a high in the last two rounds.
Sydney Uni (74 – Gordon, Parramatta) and Randwick (70 – West Harbour, Southern Districts) will take the top two spots.
Eastwood (55 – Northern Suburbs, Penrith) and Eastern Suburbs (52– Parramatta, Gordon) will round out the top four.
“On form the Eastwood vs Northern Suburbs game looks like it may decide whom finishes third.”
Key Games – Rd 17 – Northern Suburbs vs Eastwood.
Warringah (46 – Southern Districts, Northern Suburbs), Parramatta (44 – Eastern Suburbs, Sydney Uni), Gordon (35 – Sydney Uni, Eastern Suburbs), and Northern Suburbs (34 – Eastwood, Warringah) are all in a battle for 5th and 6th.
“Warringah have enough competition points to lose both remaining games and still make at least 6th spot, so they will be one of those sides. On form it is hard to see Parramatta or Gordon toppling their more fancied opponents leaving them at 44 and 35 points respectively,” Gregory continued.
“Finding a bonus point for Parramatta might be enough as two Northern Suburbs victories with maximum points will only bring them level on 44 points.
“If Parramatta cannot find a bonus point in the next two weeks then it will come down to most wins – and Parra will have the edge here as they already have a 3 game win buffer on Norths so for and against shouldn’t matter.”
Key Games – Rd 17 – Warringah vs Southern Districts, Parramatta vs Eastern Suburbs, Northern Suburbs vs Eastwood, Gordon vs Sydney Uni. Rd 18 – Northern Suburbs vs Warringah, Parramatta vs Sydney Uni, Eastwood vs Penrith, Gordon vs Eastern Suburbs.
Southern Districts (32), Manly (26), West Harbour (22) and Penrith (0) can all try to finish the season with a win or two.