Shute Shield: Manly and Norths come from behind to secure spot in top six
Manly and Norths both came from behind and claimed tight victories in round 10 to secure their spots in the Shute Shield top six.
Just two weeks after getting their pants pulled down by rivals Warringah in the second half of the local derby at Manly Oval, the Marlins produced a similar effort to steal victory from Gordon in a match the Stags really should have wrapped up.
Gordon led Manly 14-10 at the break after a fairly even first half, then extended their lead through Irish flyhalf Sean Kearns, who kicked two penalty goals and converted his own try to give the Stags what looked to be a comfortable 27-10 lead.
Manly hit back through reserve back Jay Baker in the 65th minute, then again through Harry Bergelin just minutes later to close the gap to three points.
Starting at flyhalf for the first time this year, James Ohmsen then split the Gordon defence and linked with Beaudein Waaka, who scored the Marlins third try in eight minutes to give his side a 31-27 lead.
Gordon attacked deep inside Manly’s half in the closing minutes and looked close to breaking through, before Harry Bergelin and Dan Alley combined to cause a turnover and seal a memorable four point win and a top six spot for the Marlins.
At North Sydney Oval, Norths fullback Connor Winchester slotted two late penalty goals to steal victory from Easts.
The Beasties led 14-0 following tries to Charlie Gamble and Jack Grant before the home side hit back through winger Nathan Russell, who scored twice to reduce the deficit to just two points.
The two sides traded penalty goals in a tight second half, before Winchester added a second to put his side ahead by one in the 75th minute.
The Easts forwards attacked inside Norths’ half after the full time siren but couldn’t force what would have been a match winning penalty, as the Shoreman held on to claim a second straight come from behind victory at North Sydney Oval.
At Rat Park, Warringah claimed a hard fought six point victory over a West Harbour outfit that refused to go away.
Two tries each to Ben Woollett and Josh Holmes should have been enough for the home side, but Pirates flyhalf Tiaan Swanepoel kept his side in the match with four penalty goals.
At Coogee Oval, Sydney Uni hooker Tom Horton scored three tries to give his side a lead against Randwick, before winger Harry Potter scored an intercept try to put the 40-18 result beyond doubt.
While at Forshaw, Eastwood had far too much class for a disappointing Southern Districts outfit, who have now lost six straight matches.
The Woodies scored seven tries in a sharp attacking display, while Tayler Adams had a perfect afternoon with the boot in a comfortable bonus point win.