Eastwood will live to fight another day even if they suffer defeat in Sunday’s qualifying final against Eastern Suburbs, although the knowledge they’ll have a second chance if they need it isn’t much comfort to head coach Ben Batger.
The highest-ranked loser in the top six is afforded a second chance in the opening week of the Shute Shield finals, and with minor premiers Sydney University ending Manly’s season on Saturday that advantage falls to Eastwood, for now.
Batger doesn’t want to have to take advantage of that “get out of jail free card” though, not considering the Woodies were beaten by Easts in last weekend’s final round of the regular season too.
He’d prefer to just win, and let Northern Suburbs take that second chance. The Shoremen were beaten by Warringah on Saturday, and would become that highest-ranked loser should the Woodies win.
“You’d never want to be going into the last fortnight of finals after two consecutive losses, so we were alw